Print and Go Back ESPN.com: AFC East [Print without images]

Wednesday, May 29, 2013
More surgery for TE Rob Gronkowski

By James Walker


The "Summer of Gronk" has brought mostly bad news.

Albert Breer of the NFL Network reports that New England Patriots Pro Bowl tight end Rob Gronkowski will have back surgery next month, and his timeline to return has been pushed back further into training camp. This is the second surgery in recent weeks for Gronkowski. He just had his fourth arm surgery earlier in May.

We've written many times in the AFC East blog about durability concerns with Gronkowski. He has a ton of talent and could become a Hall of Fame tight end if he can stay healthy. But Gronkowski has had multiple arm, ankle and now back surgeries in a little more than a year.

Gronkowski, 24, is still young. But at some point going under the knife six times since February 2012 could catch up to him. The important thing is for New England to have Gronkowski 100 percent in time for its Week 1 game against the Buffalo Bills. But injuries are definitely a concern for Gronkowski heading into the 2013 season.