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Report: Gronk back surgery to take place Tuesday

06.14.13 at 10:34 pm ET

It was already known Rob Gronkowski was going to undergo back surgery this offseason — the only question was where and when.

Now, we know: the Patriots tight end is set to undergo surgery on his back next Tuesday in Los Angeles, according to ESPN.

Gronkowski, who has already had four surgeries on his forearm since the conclusion of the 2012 season, will now go under the knife for a back problem that plagued him for part of last year. (It will be his sixth surgery in a 17-month span — he also had work done on his ankle in the days following Super Bowl XLVI.) It is, however, reportedly different than the back issue that dogged him in 2009 and forced him to get surgery as a collegian.

While the timetable for his return remains unclear — it could throw the start of his season into jeopardy — late last month, Gronkowski’s agent Drew Rosenhaus said the procedure was simply “preventative maintenance.”

‘€œIn Rob’€™s case, it’€™s not a serious back surgery, it’€™s unrelated to the original surgery that he had as a junior in college,’€ said Rosenahus, referencing the back issue Gronkowski had while at Arizona. ‘€œThat’€™s totally [fine] and recovered perfectly. This is a new injury and it’€™s minor. It’€™s not as significant.

‘€œAs I said, the recovery time will be consistent with the recovery time that he’€™s going to be out anyway, so I don’€™t think it’€™s a big deal. ‘€¦ Although he needs it, he had it for a while and he’€™s been able to function.’€

Next week’s surgery will reportedly be conducted by spine specialist Robert Watkins. Watkins operated on Giants defensive lineman Jason Pierre-Paul, and is reportedly scheduled to see former Red Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis next week.

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