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Rob Gronkowski to 'take his time' returning to New England Patriots?

It's hard to trust the Patriots as big favorites without Rob Gronkowski in the offense. Just like last season, the Gronk watch promises to hang over the New England Patriots. (Steven Senne/AP)

Dealing with a torn ACL and MCL suffered in Week 14 against the Cleveland Browns, New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski has spent the offseason nursing himself back to health.

The hope was that Gronk would be able to return in the early portions of the season, a suggestion that seemed plausible given reports that Gronkowski has been moving around 'just fine' and was set to begin jogging earlier this month.

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However, it sounds as if Gronkowski plans to take his time in regards to a return as Bleacher Report's Mike Freeman says the All-Pro tight end isn't going to rush back.

...but a source close to him told me that the star player will "take his time and then take more time."

I'm told he might even take more time, and be more patient, than ever before. I'm not exactly sure when we'll see Gronkowski. I do know he'll be back when he's good and ready, and I'm not sure how anyone can fault that.

Given the rash of serious injuries Gronkowski has dealt with in recent years, it's hard to blame the former Arizona Wildcats product. Still, he'll be returning to a team where anonymous players have questioned his desire, so the rumored extra time off may not sit very well with some of his teammates.

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