Remember earlier this morning when I wrote about the great Rob Gronkowski problem of 2013? Now that his fourth forearm surgery is officially scheduled for next week, there was optimism that he’ll be fine for your fantasy drafts in August. Even though there’s still significant risk that comes with a Gronk pick, it’s balanced by the far more significant reward.
Yeah, about that.
Now we’ve learned that in addition to the lingering forearm ailment, Gronkowski also has a back problem which will likely require surgery. Yes, more time being carved with a knife. Oh joy.
Mike Garafolo from USA Today has the details from a source, who told him the issue isn’t related to a previous disc surgery that cost Gronkowski his entire 2009 season at Arizona:
The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the Patriots’ policy of not publicly detailing injuries, said the issue is with a different disc than the one that needed to be shaved down via surgery in 2009 and that a final decision on whether surgery will be required has not yet been made. The person said Gronkowski will see noted spine specialist Robert Watkins in the near future, after next week’s surgery to install a new plate into his forearm.
The source also indicated that if surgery is required, Gronkowski’s recovery time from both his forearm procedure and this new surgery won’t change, and he’ll be ready for football activities in early August. That source dreams about jelly beans.
Albert Breer adds that an MRI took place yesterday, and surgery “looks likely“. For those keeping score, if he does indeed need a surgeon to cut into his back it’ll be Gronkowski’s sixth surgery in his young career.
If you’re in a keeper or dynasty league, one of your buddies is breaking out in hives right now. Communicate through whatever means are necessary (e-mail, text, phone call, morse code) and make him a low-ball offer. For a cheap price, the time is right to embrace the risk with Gronkowski, because again, the reward factor here will beat that risk in a bloody fist fight any day.
But in standard re-draft leagues, well, this is why not holding your draft until late in August or often in early September is a thing that smart leagues do. The uncertainties and concern surrounding Gronk won’t be put to rest until we see him functioning normally — or something close to it — in a preseason game.