Rob Gronkowski will have back surgery Tuesday, a source has confirmed.
This will be the fifth time since last November that the big tight end has gone under the knife: Four operations in the wake of the broken left arm from hell, and now the back surgery that Gronkowski’s agent Drew Rosenhaus described as a minor procedure.
According to ESPNBoston.com, the timetable for return has been pegged at 12 weeks.
That would mean Gronkowski could be ready at just about the same time the opener rolls around on September 8.
But given the investment the team has made in Gronkowski, and the fact it’s more important to have him full-go at the end of the season than the beginning, logic still seems to dictate taking it slow.
If the Patriots choose, they could put Gronkowski on the Physically Unable to Perform list, which would shelve him for the first six weeks of the season. Doing that would mean Gronkowski wouldn’t occupy a roster spot.
Or the team could go with 52 players and a still-convalescing Gronk coming out of camp and ease him into action.
There will be a lot of decisions to be made by the Patriots and Gronkowski between now and September. Suffice to say, this Summer of Gronk isn’t as memorable as past ones.