Is Rob Gronkowski Finally Out of the Woods?

By Andrew Fisher
Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

Rob Gronkowski has faced an offseason of uncertainty, after undergoing two surgeries on his broken left arm. Now, the talented tight end his heading back to the operating room for the fourth total time, to finish up the repairs on his forearm. This will be the final surgery, which will replace the current plate in his arm, but only if the infection is gone. If the infection is not gone, it almost guarantees a fifth surgery, which is the last thing the New England Patriots want.

Best case scenario – Gronk is ready after the fourth surgery in 10 weeks, just in time for training camp. Worst case scenario – the infection is still present, and Gronk’s 2013 status becomes uncertain. It’s a tense time for the Patriots and Gronkowski, to say the least.

So far, all the reports are good, but it sounds like the doctors won’t fully know about the presence of the infection, until they actually get him on the operating table.

I don’t think anyone anticipated this back when the injury first occurred in the 2012 regular season. I figured he’d miss a few games, and then come back like nothing ever happened. That was almost the case, except that he re-broke the arm shortly after his return. Broken arms usually aren’t viewed as serious injuries, but Gronkowski’s case has shown us what can really go wrong during recovery.

Even if he does have to endure a fifth surgery, I don’t think it will keep him out the entire season. We’re still more than seven months out from the start of next year’s playoffs, and Gronk has plenty of time to get back on the field. I’m sure the Patriots won’t rush any aspect of his recovery, and they’d be wise to take things very slowly. Gronkowski isn’t out of the woods yet, but we’ll know more next week after the completion of surgery number four.


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