Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski will have yet another surgery, this time on his back, and is expected to miss part of training camp. That's the best-case scenario.
Gronkowski underwent an MRI earlier this month for what was described as chronic back pain dating back to last season, and the results apparently showed a disk problem. NFL.com reports that the operation will be performed in mid-June, so there's no way Gronkowski will be ready for the start of training camp in late July.
Gronkowski's already undergone four surgeries in seven months, after breaking then re-breaking his arm, and dealing with a subsequent infection. But those were discrete, fluke things that don't indicate any larger pattern that should worry the Patriots. This one's different. Gronk dealt with a similar back issue before his 2009 season at Arizona, and at one point was expected to only miss the season opener. He had surgery, performed by the same doctor who's going to open him up next month, and missed the entire year. That's how he dropped to No. 42 in the draft, but the Patriots were willing to take the risk the problems wouldn't flare up again.
It sure was nice when Rob Gronkowski was a player in the NFL.