Rob Gronkowski needs a fourth surgery to repair his left forearm according to Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald. She says that the operation to replace the plate that is securing the forearm needs to happen despite recent reports that it could be avoided.
"The plate has to be switched, no matter what, and the surrounding tissue tested," she reports, though it gets more worrisome, "The real question is if Gronkowski, who has been taking part in the team's offseason program, will need a fifth operation."
Once Gronkowski's 11-week recovery period is over, the fourth surgery will happen. There is simply no other choice. If the test result states that his infection is gone, there will be no need for a fifth operation. However, that doesn't account for the fact that another infection could occur after they go in to replace the forearm plate in the fourth surgery.
As Karen Guregian says, "That's a scenario no one wants to contemplate. Ultimately, Gronkowski would need more surgery and his participation for the start of the season and perhaps beyond would be in jeopardy."
We'd all prefer to not even think about that possibility.