Rob Gronkowski is set to return to the operating table, but it doesn't involve his troublesome forearm.
NFL.com's Albert Breer reported Wednesday that the New England Patriots tight end will need back surgery, according to a source briefed on his status. Surgery tentatively is set for mid-June and will be performed by Dr. Robert Watkins, according to Breer.
It's expected that Gronkowski will miss at least part of Patriots training camp.
The possibility of back surgery previously was known, though the team had held out hope it could be avoided. Gronkowski has had back issues going back to his days at Arizona. He underwent a previous back surgery in Sept. 2009, which also was performed by Dr. Watkins.
It was reported that Gronk's recovery from this type of back surgery should take 10 weeks. We're not sure why they're waiting until mid-June to perform the surgery, but it might have something to do with his other ailment (forearm). Assuming he has surgery the week of June 10, ten weeks of recovery would sideline him until August 19 or so. If all goes well, Gronk should be back for Week 1, but this is obviously a fluid situation. Draft with caution.