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In addition to a fourth surgery on his broken forearm, New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski might need back surgery, a source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.
Gronkowski recently underwent an MRI on his back to check on a disk issue from last season according to ESPN and media reports. The injury is not considered serious, the source said. If he needs back surgery, it would be performed during the time frame he would be sidelined after his forearm surgery, which he was to undergo Monday, according to a Boston Herald report.
Gronkowski will see noted spine specialist Robert Watkins in the near future following his surgery on his forearm. That surgery if all goes well will take about 10 weeks for Gronkowski to recover from.
"He is going to be fine long term," a source close to Gronkowski said. "[He is] not worried about the short term, i.e., start of training camp."
This disk injury is not related to the disk problem that required a procedure in 2009, the source said. It was not immediately clear what caused the current disk issue in his back or when it was discovered.
Gronkowski originally broke his arm Nov. 18 in a game against the Indianapolis Colts. He returned to action Dec. 30 in the regular-season finale but broke the forearm again in the AFC divisional round on Jan. 13 against the Houston Texans.