Rob Gronkowski could miss beginning of season after setback

Within the span of a couple months, star Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski suffered two different injuries to the same forearm. He was expected to make a full recovery in time for the 2013 season but apparently that timetable could be in serious jeopardy.

Boston Herald:
According to multiple sources familiar with the situation, tight end Rob Gronkowski has been battling a stubborn infection in the area around where a second metal plate was installed to repair his broken left forearm and his readiness for the season is in jeopardy.

So what does that mean? It seems the doctors will have to cut Gronk open again, remove the plate that's in his arm, and then put in a new one. Here's the scarier part though, according to Ron Borges and Karen Guregian of the Herald: it's possible that there could be more infected tissue, which means another surgery, which means Gronk won't be ready for the season opener let alone training camp.

Obviously, losing Rob Gronkowski for any period of time would be a huge blow to New England. The Patriots just let go the only two major pass catchers who didn't miss a game for them last year - Wes Welker and Brandon Lloyd. The options that are left have all been injury prone - Danny Amendola, Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski. Though Gronk's injuries sure seem to be more like freak incidents, he hasn't gotten out of the last two seasons in one piece.

The other concerning thing with this news is you have to wonder about any long term effects. Luckily the Patriots have Jake Ballard to fill in for Gronk should he miss any time, but will Gronk be missing anything in his game after having so many surgeries on that same arm in one off-season? For a player the team just locked up on a six-year deal less than a year ago, this has to be worrisome.

It sounds like either way, Gronk might miss some training camp time

If the infection has cleared, a new plate would be installed and Gronkowski would have sufficient time to be prepared to undertake normal football activities by the time the season begins.

Many Patriots fans might point to videos that surfaced around the time of the Super Bowl that showed Gronk partying and body slamming people. It's unclear if that had any effect at all on these setbacks.