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Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski could need back surgery

Rob Gronkowski could need surgery to repair a disc in his back. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) Rob Gronkowski could need surgery to repair a disc in his back. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski could require surgery to repair a disc in his back, USA Today's Mike Garafolo reported on Friday. Gronkowski recently underwent an MRI to examine a previously injured disc in his back that was bothering him last season.

According to the report, a source speaking on the condition of anonymity said the MRI revealed damage to a disc on Gronkowski's back. However, it's not the same disc that was shaved down in a procedure in 2009. The source claims Gronkowski will visit spine specialist Robert Watkins after surgery to place a plate in Gronkowski's forearm next week. He is expected to be ready for Patriots' training camp.

The 23-year-old is expected to undergo his fourth arm surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston on Monday. An infection from a previous procedure to repair Gronkowski's broken left forearm had delayed the fourth surgery.

Gronkowski missed five games last season after breaking his left forearm blocking during an extra-point attempt against the Indianapolis Colts. He re-injured his left forearm in the AFC Divisional Playoffs against the Houston Texans.

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