This much is known for sure: Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski will have a fourth surgery on his left forearm in the coming days to determine whether the infection that has plagued that area over the past couple of months is finally gone, and if that is the case, doctors will again replace the plate that has been placed over his ulna.
A league source said Thursday night that the belief is the infection is completely cleared up.
Gronkowski’s surgery will be done at Massachusetts General Hospital, with multiple reports saying that Dr. Jesse Jupiter will perform the procedure. According to the hospital’s website, Jupiter specializes in the care of traumatic and reconstructive problems of the upper limbs, including fracture healing and failure to heal.
But there might be still another problem to address. The league source said Gronkowski has been having back issues dating back to last season.
USA Today reported that the problem is with a disk, and the issue may be enough of a concern to require surgery. Gronkowski recently had an MRI to check on the injury.
The disk that is bothering him now is not the same one that required surgery in 2009 and caused Gronkowski to miss his entire junior season at Arizona. Despite not playing that fall, he entered the draft, and because of the concerns with his back, he fell to the second round.
According to the USA Today report, if he needs surgery on his back, Gronkowski would recover at the same time he was recovering from the arm procedure.
The source told the Globe that the left arm will be dealt with first, and then the team and medical staff will address Gronkowski’s back.