Rob Gronkowski was named a team captain last Tuesday. Five days later, the Patriots were without “Captain Gronk,” but still managed to upset the Cardinals in Arizona, 23-21.

Patriots QB Jimmy Garoppolo surely could have used the most dominant receiving force in the game, despite the happy outcome. Now, the question shifts to whether or not Gronk will be available this coming Sunday at Gillette when the Patriots host a Miami squad that nearly went into Seattle and won in Week 1.

The Patriots have offered little on Gronkowski’s status as he recovered from a hamstring injury suffered 29 days ago, but Metro spoke with orthopedic surgeon Dr. Armin Tehrany, of Manhattan Orthopedic Care Tuesday regarding the potential of Gronkowski’s return this coming Sunday.

“A hamstring injury, if not treated properly with rest, can last up to six weeks for an athlete like Gronk,” Tehrany said. “It’d be much better for the team and for Gronk to only put him out on the field when he’s 100 percent to prevent re-injury to the hamstring. He needs to complete the season.”

Under this timeline, six weeks from the original injury, Gronkowski would not be "100 percent" until Sept. 26. The Patriots play the Houston Texans on Thursday, Sept. 22. They play the Bills in Week 4 on Sunday, Oct. 2.

Injury season

Metro also spoke with Dr. Tehrany about Tom Brady’s return in Week 5 against Cleveland. At 39-years-old and considering the fact that his body will not be in “football shape” in October compared to his peers, is there more concern for injury?

“There’s no question that the older we get the more susceptible to injury we get and the injuries we sustain last longer,” Tehrany said. “On the bright side, missing that first month of the season, there’s kind of an advantage as it’s fewer weeks with the potential of injury.

ACLs

We also asked Tehrany if ACL injuries are really the only “season-ending” injury in football these days and if we’re close to seeing a player, say, tear his ACL in Week 1 but recover in time for a December run or the playoffs.

“My opinion is that that thought-process is really risky,” he said. “It’s a six-to-nine month ordeal right now and I definitely lean more toward the nine months … which means it’s still always ‘season-ending.’ Players don’t give themselves enough time to heal at that six month period. They’re simply not ready, and they don’t perform as well.

“For players who dislocate their shoulders, many players come back at four months. There’s a slight chance they could be injured early in the season and then come back to the playoffs with certain gear – braces they can wear. But, as is always said, everyone’s different. Some athletes can push a little harder and get back faster.”