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.”

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

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

  2. 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.

  3. “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 …”

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

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

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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!

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

  17. 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.

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

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

    – Miami Dolphins fan.

  20. 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!

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

  22. 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!!!!!

  23. 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

  24. 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.

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

    Hard to imagine this guy will ever return to form.

  26. 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.

  27. 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.

  28. 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.

  29. 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.

  30. 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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