Gronk impresses Welker

Rob Gronkowski, right, was back on the field Thursday after offseason surgery on his ankle. Stew Milne/US Presswire

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Having recovered from offseason ankle surgery, tight end Rob Gronkowski was a full participant in the Patriots' opening practice of training camp Thursday. At one point, the single-session-record crowd of 12,000 roared when he caught a pass from quarterback Tom Brady.

Turns out spectators weren't alone in being impressed. Receiver Wes Welker was, too.

"He looked good out there, he looks really good. Those young guys heal up pretty good," Welker said, before turning to humor. "You know, I was a little skeptical with the 'Summer of Gronk' and everything."

The "Summer of Gronk" was a reference to Gronkowski's highly publicized offseason activities.

Gronkowski is tentatively scheduled to speak with reporters Friday.