Rob Gronkowski is set for yet another surgery this week, with a procedure planned on his back.
The New England Patriots tight in will go in Tuesday with noted spinal surgeon Robert Watkins. The surgery is said to be different than the 2009 surgery that kept Gronkowski from his final year of college football at Arizona.
The surgery is being described as preventative, and how long Rob Gronkowski is out depends on what doctors find during the procedure. Generally, the recovery time is expected to be at least 12 weeks, but sources within the Patriots organization say the team is concerned with how much time he might miss.
In the absence of both Gronkowski and fellow tight end Aaron Hernandez during the team’s OTAs, tight end Jake Ballard took reps. Ballard had knee surgery a little more than a year ago, but showed good hands and solid blocking in the team activities.
“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.”
At the least, Gronkowski is expected to miss the start of training came in July. He is also in jeopardy of missing the teams season opener, September 8 against the Buffalo Bills.
This will be Rob Gronkowski’s fifth surgery, with four already for a forearm that became infected after he broke it late in the year. The latest surgery came when doctors determined that antibiotics Gronkowski took over a six-week period did not take care of the lingering infection.
Rob Gronkowski is coming off a season in which he had 55 catches for 790 yards and 11 touchdowns, but missed time at the end of the year with a broken forearm. He also missed the end of the 2011 season, though he tried to play in the Super Bowl with an injured ankle.