Report: Rob Gronkowski dealing with a back problem too

AP

It looks like Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski will have a fourth surgery on his forearm next week, but that may not be the end of his trips to the operating room.

And we’re not talking about the possibility that he’ll need another surgery to deal with a lingering infection in his arm. Mike Garafolo of USA Today reports that Gronkowski recently had an MRI to check on a disc issue in his back that dates back to last season. Per Garafolo, back surgery is a possibility for the tight end.

Gronkowski is expected to see spine specialist Robert Watkins at some point in the near future, a meeting that will likely shed light on whether or not he needs to have surgery to address the problem. According to the report, the current disc issue is not related to a 2009 surgery that Gronkowski had to surgically shave down a disc. That injury wound up costing Gronkowski an entire season while he was at Arizona.

The Patriots obviously would like to avoid anything close to a repeat of that situation, so it’s good news that the expected recovery timeline for a back operation would be similar to the recovery timeline for his forearm. Barring any further complications with the infection, Gronkowski’s arm is expected to be healed in time for him to participate in training camp.