Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 10/21/14
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Hopefully Tom Brady got used to life without Rob Gronkowski at the end of the 2012 season, the quarterback could be missing his biggest target to start 2013 as well. The Patriots tight end needs a fourth surgery on his broken forearm, according to the Boston Herald. Gronkowski needs a metal plate removed from the forearm. If the area is clear of infection, the tight end can have a new plate put in without issue. If the arm is still infected, Gronkowski would have to wait to have the plate put in and the beginning of the 2013 season would be in jeopardy for the two-time All-Pro. Gronkowski has been on a cycle of antibiotic medication for six weeks, but doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital don’t know if the infection is gone yet. Gronkowski, his agent Drew Rosenhaus, the Patriots and doctors are hopeful the infection is cured, but they won’t know until Gronk goes in for surgery to remove the plate. Gronkowski’s first surgery came after his Week 11 break. The second came after the AFC divisional playoffs when he rebroke the arm against the Texans. The third surgery came in February to treat the infection.
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