Rob Gronkowski injury: Patriots TE will reportedly delay surgery for several weeks

Jared Wickerham

Rob Gronkowski's return for the start of the season is at the mercy of antibiotics.

A fourth operation on Rob Gronkowski's injured left forearm will be delayed to ensure the infection in the area has been cleared up, according to Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald. Gronkowski has been dealing with the injury since Week 11 of last season, and an infection was discovered after he aggravated the injury in the playoffs.

Gronkowski is currently on antibiotics after a third surgery was performed to clear some of the infection out. Guregian points out that the fourth surgery will be to replace the plate in his arm, and recovery time after that operation is expected to take 10 weeks.

Depending on how long it takes the infection to clear, Gronkowski may miss time at the start of the season as he rehabs from the fourth surgery.

The Patriots tight end missed five games in 2012, but was still able to amass 55 receptions for 790 yards and 11 touchdowns. He signed a long-term extension with New England after a breakout 2011 season where he caught 90 passes for 1,327 yards and 17 scores.

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