- James Walker, ESPN Staff Writer
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According to Karen Gurigian of the Boston Herald, Patriots Pro Bowl tight end Rob Gronkowski will need a fourth surgery on his surgically-repaired arm at some point. That could put Gronkowski in danger of missing Week 1 of the regular season when the Patriots travel to face the Bills in September.
Gronkowski has been in a holding pattern to decide if a fourth surgery is needed. But the longer he waits, the more chance that surgery will push Gronkowski’s recovery into the summer and perhaps the regular season. Fellow Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez also is recovering from shoulder surgery and trying to make it back for training camp. Hernandez's health has become even more important to the Patriots.
We wrote in March that the Patriots need to operate with the assumption that Gronkowski will not be ready for the start of the regular season. He is having too many complications with his arm to be counted on. But if Gronkowski is eventually healthy enough to play in September, that should be considered a bonus for New England.