David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski back surgery update

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New England Patriots star tight end Rob Gronkowski has been in the news quite a bit this offseason due to a stubborn infection in his arm and back woes. Gronkowski needed to have the plate in his left forearm replaced, thus leading to his fourth surgery on the arm. Faced with the possibility of a fifth surgery that would put the start of the season in clear jeopardy if the infection was not eradicated, Gronkowski’s fourth surgery went as planned without any sign of a lingering infection. His arm is good-to-go at this point, but his back still likely needed surgery.

According to the NFL Network’s Albert Breer, Rob Gronkowski will indeed need surgery on his back and that this surgery is “tentatively” scheduled for mid-June, which would cause Gronkowski to miss part of training camp. Honestly, I don’t even care if Gronk misses a part of training camp, because he doesn’t really need camp at this point, other than perhaps a few practice sessions to shake off  the rust. Gronkowski’s health and rest are far more important at this stage, and I’m sure most people will agree with this.

Gronkowski will likely be able to return to the Patriots by the start of the regular season, and it seems like he really needed this back surgery. I see this as helping the Patriots star tight end out in the long-run, because he was reportedly suffering from chronic back pain throughout the season and surgery on his back was fully expected.

There is still the possibility of Gronkowski missing Week 1 of the regular season when the Patriots play the rival Buffalo Bills, but the key thing is Gronkowski’s health in the long-run. I mean, it would be sad if the Patriots can’t beat the Bills even without Gronk.

ESPN Boston reports that all speculation that Gronkowski’s 2009 back issues and current back issues are similar is false.

You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter @SorianoJoe.

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