The prospect of another arm surgery for Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski isn’t as inevitable as otherwise believed.
While it’s indeed probable at this point that Gronkowski will need another procedure on his twice-broken forearm, there’s still a chance that the fracture will heal and the infection will resolve itself without a scalpel.
The loose timetable is six more weeks. If the fracture isn’t healing well enough by then (and if the infection hasn’t cleared up), the last resort of one more operation will be pursued.
For now, the last resort is regarded as probable, but not definite.
Unfortunately for Gronkowski, his fun-loving, slam-dancing ways will cause some to believe that his current predicament comes from his lifestyle. But infections happen to anyone; quarterback Tom Brady developed an infection after his ACL/MCL surgery in 2008, and plenty of other athletes and non-athletes don’t ultimately have a fully successful outcome.
That said, all NFL surgeries will continue to be called a success, and all players will be deemed to be ahead of schedule in their recovery — unless and until reality gets in the way.