Rob Gronkowski is headed to the surgeon’s table yet again, this time for a back surgery to take care of a disk issue.
The New England Patriots tight end is scheduled to undergo back surgery in mid-to-late June from noted spine specialist Dr. Robert Watkins.
Gronkowski recently had an MRI to look into a disk issue that arose last season. It is not the same disk that gave the tight end trouble in 2009.
With both Gronkowski and fellow tight end Aaron Hernandez on mend, tight end Jake Ballard has taken over in the role at the team’s OTAs. Ballard himself is 16 months removed from a knee injury but has showed good pass-catching ability to go along with a solid blocking frame.
“I’m doing my best I can to be 100 percent, and I’m doing as much as I can, as much as they’re allowing me to do out here,” Ballard said. “When I’m out here I feel like I’m putting in good work and getting better.”
Rob Gronkowski has already had four surgeries for his broken forearm, which became infected after he broke it late in the year. The latest surgery took place after doctors determined that antibiotics Gronkowski took over a six-week period did not take care of the lingering infection.
Gronkowski went down November 18 in a win over the Indianapolis Colts, missing five games but returning for the team’s regular season finale. But Gronkowski didn’t stay healthy for long, re-injuring his forearm early in the team’s playoff game against the Houston Texans.
Gronkowski also ended his 2011 season with an injury, though he tried to play through his injured ankle in the Super Bowl.
The tight end is coming off a season in which he caught 55 passes for 790 yards and 11 touchdowns for New England.
It wasn’t noted if Rob Gronkowski’s latest surgery will cause him to miss any of training camp.