Gronkowski cleared to return

Gronkowski scored a record 38 touchdowns in his first three NFL seasons. Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, who is recovering from a torn ACL and MCL suffered last December, has been medically cleared to play, the Patriots’ official web site reports.

Gronkowski, 25, was unable to take part in organized team activities or mandatory minicamp this spring, instead working with the team’s medical staff. Now that he has been cleared, Gronkowski will not be placed on the physically unable to perform list, which was a possibility.

“He’s been here. He’s been cleared to play,” head coach Bill Belichick said Wednesday. “Rob’s always worked hard. He worked hard as a rookie. He’s always worked hard.”

Gronkowski, who was limited to only seven games last season due to a back injury, caught 39 passes for 592 yards and four touchdowns. He has not played a full 16-game schedule since the 2011 season, when he caught 17 touchdown passes and earned All-Pro honors.