Gronkowski will likely sit out the entirety of the preseason schedule as he recovers from knee surgery, according to the Boston Globe. The fourth-year tight end has undergone six surgeries in the past two years, and has not played a full season since 2011. Gronkowski was cleared for training camp, but has thus far been held out of organized team drills, instead working individually on the sidelines, or with small groups. In seven games in 2013, Gronkowski caught 39 balls for 592 yards and four touchdowns.
As expected, the Patriots are being extremely careful with their star TE as he returns to the team. Gronkowski is a very important piece of the New England passing game, and they won't take any unnecessasry risks with his health leading up to the season. That said, though, it will be much harder for fantasy owners to assess Gronkowski's game-readiness, without first seeing him on the field. Gronkowski expects to be ready for Week 1, but how ready he is physically may be a different question. He's currently being drafted like he's fully recovered, at 28th overall, but there may be a greater element of risk here than some fantasy owners realize.