Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski appears to be making strides toward returning from back surgery. But just how soon he’ll return to the field remains to be seen.

Gronkowski has resumed some light workouts, and Ed Werder of ESPN reported that people who have been working with Gronkowski describe him as being in good spirits, looking good and making significant progress.

That does not mean, however, that Gronkowski will progress well enough to play when the Patriots open the season on September 8. It’s simply too soon to say whether Gronkowski can play in Week One, and Gronkowski’s history has to be a concern: His previous back surgery, in September of 2009 when he was in college at Arizona, cost him his entire senior season.