Just as the news was getting better on Rob Gronkowsi's arm, there's word his back is once again acting up and could require surgery as well.
The New England Patriots tight end recently underwent an MRI on his back to check on a disk issue he had dating back to last season, a person informed of Gronkowski's medical status told USA TODAY Sports.
The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the Patriots' policy of not publicly detailing injuries, said the issue was with a different disk than the one that needed to be shaved down in surgery in 2009 and a final decision on whether surgery would be required had not been made. The person said Gronkowski would see spine specialist Robert Watkins in the near future, after next week's surgery to install a new plate into his forearm.
The person said the hope was, if surgery on his back was required, Gronkowski would be back within the same time frame as his recovery from the arm injury, which he initially suffered in November but has been prolonged because of an infection in the limb.
Gronkowski missed the entire 2009 season – his last year in college, at Arizona – with his first spinal issue. He was sidelined for the NFL scouting combine that February, which hurt his draft status and allowed the Patriots to select him in the second round.
Adam Schefter reported that the surgery would be minor. We still love Gronk's production, but the red flags are piling up. Stay tuned.