Former Patriots Team Doctor Says Rob Gronkowski’s Back Injury Could Actually Be Career-Ending
The injury was reportedly sustained in the Seahawks game two weeks ago, the same game he also suffered damage to one of his lungs. Gronk apparently re-aggravated it as he tried to play in last week’s game versus the Jets.
The Patriots are reporting that the back surgery, Gronk’s third one since 2009, will keep him out of action for eight weeks. And that’s actually the good news.
The bad news is that former Patriots team doctor Thomas Gill, speaking to WBZ in Boston on Thursday, says that the prognosis could be much worse.
“There’s a whole saying that we have when we’re evaluating players at the Combine — once a disk, always a disk,” Gill said. “Even when it’s fixed, especially with an offensive lineman, we always downgrade offensive linemen when they’ve had a disk surgery because we know this is going to happen again. If this is the third time that it’s happened, if it’s the same level, as tough a guy as he is, I’m not aware in my 16 years of a player still in the league who has had three disks on one level done.”
Another doctor who spoke to the Boston Globe in 2013 about Gronk’s back surgery that year, also painted a pretty dismal picture, which may have something to do with Gronk’s latest injury…
“Offensive and defensive linemen — and Gronk is included, because he does some blocking — are at the greatest risk for developing a poor outcome after this kind of surgery,” said Dr. Wellington Hsu, associate professor at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. “They play the game in a squatting position, and have a lot of force on their back when they hit 300-pound defenders.”
Still, there is hope, as another NFL team doctor says Gronk has a “reasonable” chance for recovery.
Soooo… about that whole “Madden Curse” not being real anymore…