Will Injuries Ultimately Derail the Career of Rob Gronkowski?

By Andrew Fisher
Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

With the ridiculous numbers that Rob Gronkowski has put up over the past couple of years, it just seemed like something had to give. Gronkowski was riding high after accumulating 17 touchdowns in the 2011 regular season, but a severe ankle sprain limited him in the Super Bowl that season, which no doubt played a role in the New England Patriots‘ loss. He was again injured in 2012, breaking his left forearm, twice.

Now after four total arm surgeries, Gronk is again set to hit the operating table. This time, it’s for a disc issue in his back, which he actually already had surgery for in 2009 while in college. So if you’re keeping track at home, this will make seven surgeries for the talented tight end in about a four-year span.

The latest back surgery is going to cost Gronkowski a lot of offseason practice time, and now his status for the season-opener is very unclear. None of things mentioned above about Gronk, are good. In fact, they’re all bad.

But at 24-years of age, and after only three seasons, is time to panic about his future?

At this juncture in time, the answer is no. All signs point to a full recovery for his arm, and the upcoming back procedure seems to be fairly minor. However, there aren’t many details available, nor would the Patriots disclose them if they were. Gronk is starting to seem more and more like a long-shot for week one, but I’m not buying that his career is in jeopardy.

The best thing he has going for him, is the fact that he’s only 24, and it’s 2013. Sports medicine is remarkable these days, and fans can be assured that Gronk is getting the best possible care. I see these latest two surgeries as challenges for the TE to overcome to get on the field early this season, but not as challenges that could end his career prematurely.

Still, Gronkowski is starting to seem like one of players who just can’t stay healthy. I hope that he can get back on track very soon in 2013, because it would just be a shame, and bad for football, if he can’t.


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