Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 5/17/13

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 02: Rob Gronkowski of the New England Patriots carries a reception into the endzone past Antrel Rolle of the New York Giants for a first quarter touchdown on September 2, 2010 at the New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Rob Gronkowski could soon be one step closer to putting his nagging forearm injury behind him for good. The Patriots tight end has been waiting for an infection in the area to subside, with doctors needing to remove an old plate in his arm and replace it with a new one. Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk now reports that the infection is gone, and the surgery to put in the new plate will happen next week. Well-known pro athlete injury specialist Dr. James Andrews will consult, Florio reports. Gronkowski first broke his arm Nov. 18 and reinjured it after he returned for the playoffs. In that injury, the arm broke in a second place, possibly because of stress from where the plate was inserted. Gronkowski has battled infection this offseason, and whether he’ll be ready for the start of next season hinges largely on when he can have the final surgeries, be deemed infection-free and get his arm back to full health. There was hope a few weeks ago that Gronkowski would not need a fourth surgery.
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