New England Patriots star tight end Rob Gronkowski will undergo back surgery under noted spine specialist Dr. Robert Watkins in mid-to-late June and will not be ready for the start of training camp in late July.
His agent, Drew Rosenhaus, characterized the procedure as "preventative-maintenance" procedure. The back injury is not related to the one that caused Gronkowski to undergo an operation in 2009 and miss his entire junior season at the University of Arizona.
The two-week wait for surgery is a precautionary measure to ensure the risk of infection from the fourth forearm surgery Gronkowski underwent in May 21 is not a factor.
According to Rosenhaus, his client's recovery time from the back surgery will be very comparable to the 10 weeks he is expected to miss with the arm surgery, assuming there are no setbacks.
Gronkowski originally broke his arm Nov. 18 in a game against the Indianapolis Colts. He returned to action Dec. 30 in the regular-season finale but broke the forearm again in the AFC divisional round on Jan. 13 against the Houston Texans.
With Gronkowski sidelined, tight end Jake Ballard is working toward being back to 100 percent and has looked sharp in each of the media-accessible OTAs.
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