“Just going into the playoff game I felt ready, I felt confident about it,” Gronkowski said during an interview with the Mut and Merloni Show on WEEI on Thursday. “Like I said, it was just a freak accident. It didn’t go the way I planned. It broke in a different spot. It just happened. Obviously I wasn’t planning on that.”
Gronk, who initially broke his left forearm against the Colts on Nov. 18, reinjured the forearm less than two months later during the Patriots’ divisional round playoff game against the Texans. He was spotted wearing a long, black cast over the forearm in New Orleans earlier this week, and decided to delve into detail about the injury.
“Right when I landed obviously I was in huge pain,” Gronk said, reflecting back on the second injury. “I knew there was something wrong right when I hit. I just wasn’t sure what it was. Because sometimes you get a stinger, sometimes you get a charley horse and they go away after two minutes — they just hurt real bad, real quick for like two minutes. So, I was just hoping it was that — like a quick stinger, hitting your joint in your elbow or something where it just numbs your arm real quick. I was just hoping it was one of those. But the pain wasn’t going away, obviously, and obviously it broke.”
Questions arose two weeks earlier when Gronkowski made his initial return to the field for a few snaps in the Patriots’ season finale against the Miami Dolphins. He didn’t appear fully comfortable throughout the game, and admitted that he wasn’t extremely confident about his health entering the game but wanted to get back on the field anyway.
“I really wasn’t that confident obviously going in, because obviously I was using one hand, as you can see.” Gronk said. “I was just getting used to it and all, just getting used to the flow of the game again, it’s good to get the speed down and all that, and just getting me prepared going into the playoffs, playing in that Miami game.”
Gronk’s injury severely inhibited the Patriots during their failed attempt at a return to the Super Bowl. Without him, Tom Brady and the offense were stagnant and fell to the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Championship Game — a less than ideal finish for the ultra-competitive tight end.
“It wasn’t the way I wanted to go out. Definitely it wasn’t. It is what it was. That’s what happened,” Gronk said before optimistically looking forward. “It’s the offseason now, so, no time to rush it. Get it 100 percent before camp starts.”
With about five months until the start of camp, Gronk should have plenty of time to heal. But can he stay healthy for the full season is the real question, because he hasn’t proven too durable so far.