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Injury update: Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski explains whether he will be ready for the 2017 season

The Patriots All Pro tight end spoke with ESPN and gave an injury update.

New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski joined ESPN to give a status update as he recovers from his third career back surgery. Gronkowski reportly “told ESPN's Cari Champion that he ‘no doubt’ will be ready for the start of the 2017 season.”

Champion also asked the tight end how much longer he wants to play football after going through eight career surgeries.

"I'm not really sure,” Gronkowski replied. “I still love playing the game, and as of right now, I want to play as long as I can possibly play. My mindset is to keep on going."

Gronkowski’s belief that there is “no doubt” about his return for the start of the 2017 season is great news for New England. The Patriots would love to have a healthy Gronkowski for the 2017 opener because there are not many alternative options available in free agency, and rookie tight ends rarely contribute in a major way. Gronkowski is one of the biggest mismatches in the entire league.