Report: Rob Gronkowski dealing with back injury, could need surgery

A back injury is the latest problem for Rob Gronkowski and it could require surgery (USATSI)
A back injury is the latest problem for Rob Gronkowski and it could require surgery (USATSI)

We've already written more than once -- four times, actually! -- that Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski has been dealing with possible surgery on the broken forearm he suffered in the 2012 season. But things could go from bad to worse pretty quickly with the news that Gronk is also dealing with a back injury that could require surgery.

Ian Rapoport of reported that Gronkowski is dealing with "chronic" back pain and will see a specialist about the issue.

This isn't Gronk's first run-in with back pains: He fell in the 2010 NFL Draft after missing his final season of college because of a back injury.

However, Mike Garafolo of USA Today reports that this time around Gronk is dealing with a different disc and that surgery is not yet a guarantee, with a decision about whether or not to go under the knife to be made soon.

Per Garafolo, the hope is that whether Gronk elects to have surgery or not, he'll ultimately end up recovering in the same time frame as he expected to following his fourth upcoming surgery on his forearm.

It's still only May so it's not time to panic yet if you're the Patriots. But there are enough medical red flags in Gronk's history and enough medical issues he's dealt with this offseason to make just about anyone a little nervous when it comes to his status for the 2013 season.

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Will Brinson joined CBS Sports in 2010 and enters his seventh season covering the NFL for CBS. He previously wrote for FanHouse along with myriad other Internet sites. A North Carolina native who lives... Full Bio

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