Rob Gronkowski came out of surgery Monday with good news for the New England Patriots.
NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reported that the star tight end had new plates put into his troublesome left forearm, and doctors have determined the infection in the arm is gone, according to a source. No further surgery is planned at this time.
The team now can turn its primary focus to Gronkowski's other issue -- chronic back pain. Gronkowski recently underwent an MRI to determine the severity of the injury and will see spine specialist Robert Watkins in three to four weeks in California for a consultation, NFL.com's Albert Breer reported.
The Patriots hope Gronkowski's back issue can be treated without surgery and the rehab process can be concurrent with the forearm. Gronk isn't in the clear by any stretch, but Monday was a positive development in the Patriots' hope that they have their star on the field by Week 1.
This is obviously great news for Gronk and his owners. The plan now is to see a spine specialist. If he has to have back surgery, it is estimated to take 10 weeks to recover which would put his return somewhere around mid-August. He could still be a great value in 2013, but he does come with considerable risk. We'd be more comfortable with Jimmy Graham in the 2nd/3rd rounds.