Gronkowski Could Require A Fourth Surgery

New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski “very likely” will require a fourth surgery on his left forearm, this one to remove the plate inserted in the arm in order to ensure an infection has been eradicated, two sources told’s Mike Reiss.

If another surgery is required, the estimate for a recovery would be about 10 weeks. Depending on when the surgery can be performed, which would be determined by whether the infection is completely eradicated, Gronkowski’s availability for the start of the 2013 season could be affected.

While the infection is seen as a setback, there are options that include not removing the plate that could be considered, the sources said.

Gronkowski was in California visiting friends recently, and when he woke up in the morning, his arm was swollen and he noticed some discharge. After he called the Patriots, the club quickly arranged for his cross-country return to Boston to address the issue. The timeliness was crucial to avoid any more serious complications.