Infection likely gone, Gronk gets new arm plate next week

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Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski has been battling for weeks a post-surgical infection in his arm.

Doctors, we’re told, now believe that the infection finally has subsided.  In the coming days, that will be confirmed.

The good news, if it’s confirmed, is that Gronkowski finally be infection-free.  The bad news, if it’s confirmed, is that he’ll be ready for the plate in his arm to be replaced.  Which means that he’ll have his fourth surgery since first breaking the arm during the 2012 regular season.

Gronkowski is approaching the one-year anniversary of his multi-year extension, one that looks a lot better for him in hindsight — but also one that the Patriots could choose to abandon (or at least renegotiate) when a $10 million option bonus comes due in 2016.

UPDATE 9:24 p.m. ET:  Gronkowski will indeed have surgery next week, with Dr. James Andrews consulting.