New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski had surgery last week on the same forearm that he broke against the Houston Texans in the divisional round in January, according to Adam Schefter and Field Yates of ESPN.
Schefter tweeted on Monday:
According to Schefter, Gronkowski is still expected back before camp starts:
Rob Gronkowski's elbow infection was caught early enough that he is likely not miss any extended time and is expected to be for camp.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 25, 2013
For those scoring at home, Rob Gronkowski now has had three arm surgeries since mid Nov. - none incurred from dancing as far as we know.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 25, 2013
After totaling 1,327 receiving yards and 17 receiving touchdowns in 2011, Gronkowski posted 790 yards and 11 touchdowns in 11 games last season.
The 23-year-old missed Weeks 12 through 16, only to play one full game against the Miami Dolphins in Week 17 before breaking his arm again against the Texans.
As Schefter noted, it appears the infection won't keep Gronkowski out too long. That's good news for Tom Brady, who just gave the Patriots a discount in signing a three-year, $27 million extension on Monday (per Peter King of Sports Illustrated). The money saved will not only help the Patriots this offseason, but also next offseason.
New England does have another Pro Bowl tight end in Aaron Hernandez, but the team is undoubtedly better with both young studs on the field. Hernandez totaled 483 yards and five touchdowns in 10 games last season.
Brady's gesture on Monday will make it easier for the Pats to complement the signal-caller with additional weapons, but Gronkowski gives New England that big-play ability from the tight end position that adds another dangerous dimension to the offense. The team is hoping he can stay healthy enough for another Super Bowl run in 2013 and beyond.
The man affectionately known as "Gronk" has built up quite the reputation in the National Football League. For the Pats, hopefully he can get back on the field as soon as possible.