New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski underwent surgery on his back Tuesday to correct a spinal issue and will soon begin rehab in the hope of returning to action in late August, a person informed of the prognosis told USA TODAY Sports.
The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the Patriots don't divulge injury information publicly, said the optimistic view is that Gronkowski will be back to work just before the end of the preseason.
This is definitely one of the more optimistic reports you will find on Gronk, who is likely to go on the PUP list and miss most of training camp according to NFL.com. As the USA Today story points out, the problem is Gronkowski has been inactive since the Patriots were eliminated from the postseason in late January, first because of a nagging arm infection related to his broken foream and now because of his back surgery to correct a problem that's been nagging him since last season. If Gronkowski is indeed back for Week 1, owners can't expect him to be in top form, but there's at least reason to be optimistic he'll get there quick.
Gronk could also start the season on the PUP list, a move that would allow him to be replaced on the roster for at least six games.
He's likely going to slip a bit in drafts.