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Rob Gronkowski needs back surgery, likely to miss start of camp


When we last checked in on the health status of Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, we noted that things were looking good regarding his surgically repaired broken arm, but that he was probably going to need back surgery. Now it looks like we can take “probably” out of that sentence.

Albert Breer of NFL Network reports that Gronkowski will need back surgery, which is expected to take place in mid-June. He’ll likely miss at least the start of training camp.

The Patriots have been expecting Gronkowski to have the back surgery, so this will not come as a surprise. And New England is very deep at tight end, with Aaron Hernandez, Jake Ballard, Michael Hoomanawanui and Daniel Fells all playing the position as well. So it’s far from time to panic.

Still, it’s reasonable to be concerned that the injury-prone label Gronkowski had heading into the 2010 NFL draft is coming to fruition. An offseason of arm surgery and back surgery is not the kind of offseason the Patriots would like from Tom Brady’s top weapon.

UPDATE 4:08 p.m. ET:  PFT has confirmed that the surgery will happen, in mid-to-late June.  His availability for the start of training camp is regarded as “doubtful.”

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54 Responses to “Rob Gronkowski needs back surgery, likely to miss start of camp”
  1. bilbo1000 says: May 29, 2013 3:57 PM

    Why mid-June for the operation? Why don’t they just get it done and get him back two weeks earlier?

  2. westampa says: May 29, 2013 3:58 PM

    If they knew he was going to need back surgery, then why didn’t he get it months ago?

  3. miguelromerorhpat says: May 29, 2013 3:59 PM

    Not at this moment gronk,please!

  4. Steeler's Didn't-but-Will-eventually says: May 29, 2013 4:02 PM

    Get well soon, Gronk.

  5. Steeley McBeam says: May 29, 2013 4:02 PM

    Rob Glasskowski.

  6. autoriot says: May 29, 2013 4:02 PM

    Seriously, how is this guy not dead yet? I think he has been the most injured, reported on, player since the end of the season.


    Said no one ever.

  7. jtbaudendistel says: May 29, 2013 4:03 PM

    I hear partying with your shirt off heals all back pain.

  8. nyyjetsknicks says: May 29, 2013 4:03 PM

    Things could get ugly for him in his 40’s and 50’s.

  9. orivar says: May 29, 2013 4:07 PM

    All I can do is think of Humpty Dumpty and Mr. Potato Head comparisons.

  10. sampsonswag01 says: May 29, 2013 4:08 PM

    Humpy Dumpy back together again….

  11. sampsonswag01 says: May 29, 2013 4:08 PM

    or humpty dumpty…..either works 🙂

  12. MasMacho says: May 29, 2013 4:09 PM

    “Steve Austin, astronaut: a man barely alive….
    Gentlemen we can rebuild him …
    We have the technology …
    We have the capability to make the worlds first bionic man…
    Steve Austin Gronk will be that man …
    Better than he was before …
    Better, Stronger, Faster …”

  13. jnbnet says: May 29, 2013 4:12 PM

    Not worried. He will be back and he will be just as effective as before. Now bring on the hate.

  14. recyclecode6 says: May 29, 2013 4:14 PM

    As a Colts fan, unfortunately they only need him for the playoffs. Reminds me of Bob Sanders after DPOTY. We all cringed and hoped they sat him until the playoffs so the Colts D would step up.

    If Pats ruin him during the season running him over the middle, coach won’t look so smart.

  15. CKL says: May 29, 2013 4:14 PM

    I hate to sound polyanna ish but I’d rather this happen now than partway through the season. I’m sick of not having him when he’s most needed.

  16. sdcameron says: May 29, 2013 4:16 PM

    Extremely talented but made of glass, I wonder how long he will last in the NFL. Wouldn’t be shocked to see him done before he is 27.

  17. rcali says: May 29, 2013 4:16 PM

    Belicheat said that Gronk was fine months ago so I don’t know why these lies of surgeries continue.

  18. thereisalwaysnextyear says: May 29, 2013 4:17 PM

    Mid to late June? Get on it! Earlier done the earlier recovered. Slackers…

  19. markchmurasbabysitter says: May 29, 2013 4:19 PM

    Does his hospital room overlook the Jet’s practice facility? If so, just give him a video camera and a notebook and he cab still have a positive impact for the team.

  20. toonloonboon says: May 29, 2013 4:20 PM

    as Dave Chappelle said in Half Baked….”I need a back-e-otomy”

  21. 808raiderinparadise says: May 29, 2013 4:22 PM

    While they have him on the operating table, they might as well inject some steroids into his brain too

  22. mdagnew1 says: May 29, 2013 4:23 PM

    he couldn’t do it months ago…he HAD to go back to Vegas… you can’t slam dance in Vegas after back surgery..

  23. thegenoatkinsdiet says: May 29, 2013 4:24 PM

    I’ve seen too many players who missed conditioning in the off-season go down again early in the season. Usually hamstring issues. Maybe Gronk is young/strong/lucky enough to avoid it, but I won’t be shocked if he isn’t.

  24. rc33 says: May 29, 2013 4:28 PM

    Gronkowski lead all NFL T.E.’s in touchdowns last season. He did it in 11 games.
    Either way, keep rooting, hoping and praying for this guy to continue getting hurt, classy football fans that you are. As if being there for Weeks 1, 2 or 3 really maters.
    He’ll be back soon enough.

  25. michaeljacksonisback says: May 29, 2013 4:31 PM


  26. ampats says: May 29, 2013 4:33 PM

    The Ballard signing looks better every day. Gronk will be back and better than ever.

  27. lengai says: May 29, 2013 4:34 PM

    In other news Jimmy Graham is coming along swimmingly and is ready for another huge year.

  28. scrummymustard says: May 29, 2013 4:38 PM

    andddd i’ll continue to reiterate that this is why I’d rather have Jimmy Graham.

  29. rc33 says: May 29, 2013 4:49 PM

    Does his hospital room overlook the Jet’s practice facility? If so, just give him a video camera and a notebook and he cab still have a positive impact for the team.
    What’s genuinely frightening is someone actually believed this was funny. Or clever. Or both.

  30. nolahxc says: May 29, 2013 4:52 PM

    That sucks. Once you start fooling with the neck and back, it really gets tricky. I hope that dude comes back as close to 100% as he can. The NFL is a lot more fun with Gronk running around!

  31. dontasemebro says: May 29, 2013 5:08 PM

    Take it from a guy going for back surgery #8. He’s done! Like a Lay’s potato chip “You cant have just one”!

  32. mackcarrington says: May 29, 2013 5:26 PM

    Apparently football fans don’t seem to realize or understand that doctors and surgeons have calendars and that patients may be scheduled to have surgeries ahead of Gronkowski. If it’s not an emergency you just can’t say “Do it tomorrow Doc”. It doesn’t always work like that.

  33. beachsidejames says: May 29, 2013 6:00 PM

    Hopefully the coach dosen’t put him on the field too soon so he can recover 100%.

  34. foosball11 says: May 29, 2013 6:08 PM

    This guy is done. Too bad, he coulda been an all time great.

  35. dalcow4 says: May 29, 2013 6:08 PM

    Man, those guys are going to miss Welker big time.

  36. gmsalpha says: May 29, 2013 6:17 PM

    He should wait until late mid-September before having his back surgery

    – Miami Dolphins fan.

  37. buffalomafia says: May 29, 2013 6:17 PM

    Another highly paid short career do to injuries?!

  38. 8man says: May 29, 2013 6:17 PM

    Big deal. He’ll do it the Monday after Father’s Day and we’ll see him return after the bye week against Carolina.

    What have the NY football Giants taught us? One, you don’t have to win every game to get into the playoffs. Two, you don’t have to play at home in the playoffs to advance. Three, you can play four playoff games and still be the Super Bowl champs.

    No worries!

  39. outlawshark says: May 29, 2013 6:43 PM


  40. trapshoot says: May 29, 2013 6:53 PM

    Could be a very notable player but it appears his health issues will prevent him from reaching his potential.

  41. bgm9876 says: May 29, 2013 7:15 PM

    hes in bad shape right now…

  42. bleedsoe9mm says: May 29, 2013 8:22 PM

    as long as he’s back and 100% for the first game , i could careless if he misses all summer

  43. evilhoody says: May 29, 2013 9:03 PM

    I understand the frustration and worry seeing Gronk go under the knife for the 5th time in his short career.Hopefully his back won’t be a on going issue,Their saying it’s not the same injury as he had in college,but sounds similar.The guy is freek of nature a absolute beast,and he’s gone every year when we need him in the playoff push.let’s stop freaking about the timing of his surgery it’s perfect he’ll be back for camp and still make week 1.To be honest I almost wish he was out till mid season so that he could be healthy for playoff’s.He looks and plays like a guy that’s unstoppable,and is so far the only thing to stop him is not defense’s but injury’s.COME ON GRONK!!!!!

  44. zackattack006 says: May 29, 2013 9:08 PM

    Belicheck is a genius!

  45. gooboy6 says: May 29, 2013 9:38 PM

    Why mid-June for the operation? Why don’t they just get it done and get him back two weeks earlier?


    One more Vegas run brau

  46. abninf says: May 29, 2013 9:39 PM

    He has to wait until mid June? What, is he using Obamacare now?

  47. floridaslonechargersfan says: May 29, 2013 10:29 PM

    Looking at the schedule, even if Gronk misses the first two games guess what? Its against the Bills and Jets. The Patriots could send out Shane Falco and beat the Bills and the Jets. They still have Brady so naturally they will win those two games and Gronk will return in Week 3.

  48. vincentbojackson says: May 29, 2013 11:14 PM

    If Gronk was a horse they would have put him down by now.

    Hard to imagine this guy will ever return to form.

  49. vincentbojackson says: May 29, 2013 11:20 PM

    Good chance his football career may be cut short. Lets hope doctors can at least get him healthy enough to continue his passion for shirtless dancing and acting a complete fool at the club.

  50. 1historian says: May 29, 2013 11:20 PM

    IMO the best thing that can come from this, aside from the dude getting healthy, is this – he looks at all the TEs the Pats have and that they are moving on without him and realizes that he is not irreplaceable and it might be a good idea if he grows up.

    In any case I don’t see him playing past 30.

  51. thesteelers says: May 29, 2013 11:35 PM


  52. marima07 says: May 30, 2013 7:30 AM

    Gronk is a beast and will be back as good as ever, as much as the rest of the AFC East is hoping otherwise.

    No player can take the pounding he does without a bit of repair-work needed. Not worried at all, he’ll be back.

  53. rc33 says: May 30, 2013 9:31 AM

    20/20 hindsight, it’s a good thing the Patriots picked up Jake Ballard. He was a damn good football player for the Giants last we saw during their SB run.
    Hernandez, Ballard, Hoonamanawhatever and Daniel Fells, there’s still some depth and talent at the position.

  54. marima07 says: May 31, 2013 5:15 PM

    Jimmy Graham? He had fewer TDs than Gronk last year, even though Graham played in 4 more games. Gimme Gronk any day.

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