New England Patriots star tight end Rob Gronkowski underwent successful surgery on his back on Tuesday, and the operating physician made a statement on the actual procedure. The statement was issued through Boston's WEEI:
"New England Patriots' tight end Rob Gronkowski underwent a microscopic lumbar discectomy surgery performed by Dr. Robert Watkins at Marina Del Rey Hospital in Los Angeles. The surgery went well. The timing of his return to football will depend on his progression through the rehabilitation program.
The question becomes whether or not Gronkowski will be able to play in the season opener for New England on Sept. 8. According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, it's still thought to be a possibility if no serious setbacks occur.
Gronkowski has been suffering from all kinds of medical issues since the middle of the 2012 season, when he broke his forearm while playing on special teams against the Indianapolis Colts. Upon returning to the lineup for the AFC Divisional game against the Houston Texans in January, Gronkowski broke the arm in the first quarter.
Since that time, Gronkowski has needed three surgeries mostly due to infection and now has had his back worked on. Many in the organization were particularly worried about the back ailment, considering it's the part of his body that broke down in college, forcing him to slide to the second round in the draft.