Earlier today, it was reported that New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski will undergo back surgery tomorrow to repair a ruptured disk. Gronkowski injured his back on Sunday anc was seen gingerly walking after the game.
While initial reports where positive, yesterday's news were not — and raised the question why Gronkowski even played against the New York Jets after suffering a chest injury just two weeks prior. To address this topic, the Oatriots and the Gronkowski family released a joint statement today.
The gist of the statement is the Patriots basically distancing themselves from any rumors thaf Gronkowski was rushed back from the chest injury he suffered against the Seattle Seahawks:
Rob was examined by several specialists at Massachusetts General Hospital as directed by the team, as well as an independent physician. He received medical clearance to return to play two weeks later for the New York Jets game on November 27.
The team then provided further information about how Gronkowski injured his back — suffering “significant back and leg pain” following an early-game hit — and that he has chosen surgery in his best long-term interest. It will be the 27-year old’s third back surgery since his 2009 junior year at Arizona.
This is certainly the best decision even if this means that following a team-perspective:
We do not expect that he will be able to play for the remainder of the 2016 season, but will await the results of tomorrow’s surgery before making a final determination.
The initially reported time-frame for the recovery was eight weeks, which would mean that Gronkowski could theoretically return for the Super Bowl. However, given the above statement, it would also not be a surprise if the team ended his season by putting him on injured reserve.
The Patriots’ statement also notes that the team is committed to assisting the NFL’s best tight end throughout his recovery. And that they, just like we, look forward to his return to the field.