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Reports: Rob Gronkowski facing back surgery

05.29.13 at 4:34 pm ET
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Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Rob Gronkowski is set for surgery.

According to Albert Breer of the NFL Network, the Patriots tight end will undergo back surgery next month, and and his timeline to return to the playing field has been pushed back further into training camp. That would make six reported surgeries for the tight end since February 2012.

While the four previous surgeries this offseason have dealt with a forearm injury (and a subsequent infection issue), this one is reportedly linked to a back issue that has dogged him of late. This is, however, apparently not linked to the back problem that he had as a collegian and caused a drop in his draft stock. (He also had surgery for an ankle injury that limited his effectiveness in Super Bowl XLVI.)

The 24-year-old caught 55 passes for 790 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2012, but was limited down the stretch because of a break in his left forearm in a November win over the Colts. He later re-injured the same arm in a playoff win over the Texans.

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