Rob Gronkowski has come under a lot of heat this week. He's apparently been cleared to play by the Patriots, but his camp still has reservations due to several surgeries performed on his forearm in the off-season. Fans are calling Gronkowski soft and demanding he come back on the field.

The Boston Herald's Karen Guregian caught up with the mother of Patriots star tight end, who came out in defense of her son.

“All I can say is Robbie is dying to play. He wants to get out there,” said Diane Gronkowski, mother of the Patriots’ tight end. “He’s doing what he has to do to get back playing. He doesn’t like it. He wants to play. It really bothers him that he’s not playing.”

Diane Gronkowski indicated her son wanted to play as far back as Week 2, when the team medical staff thought he was ready to go. But Gronk hasn’t gotten back on the field because he doesn’t want to end up in the same place he was last season — in an operating room.

“The same people who criticize him for not coming back are the same people who say he came back too soon last time,” she said. “It is what it is. Rob is the only one who can make this decision. Anybody else who has a comment to make positively or negatively aren’t Rob. They aren’t in his shoes. They didn’t go through the surgeries that he went through. You can say what you want to say. Unless you’ve stood in someone’s shoes, you don’t really know the whole story.

“When they go through four arm surgeries, a back surgery, and a foot surgery in a year and a half, then they can make the comments,” she went on. “After the third (forearm) surgery, Robbie said, ‘I’m never doing this again.’ And weeks later, he’s back in for the fourth one. So he doesn’t want to go back where he was and start all over again. It wasn’t fun. It was so discouraging.”

Obviously Gronk's mom would defend her son, but she makes a lot of good points.

Patriots fans should be hoping that Gronkowski does what's in the best interests of himself. He should not rush back and risk further injuring his arm, and effectively go out for the season.

Sure, he's been cleared by Patriots doctors. The same doctor who told Jacoby Ellsbury to come back from a rib injury, only to have that injury get further aggravated. The team and Gronkowski brought in Dr. James Andrews to be a third party. He did not clear Gronk this week, that should be enough for you.

Michael Saver 10/13/2013 04:01:00 PM Edit

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