Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 6/19/13
Rob Gronkowski‘s back surgery was, by all accounts, a success. Now, he starts the long road to recovery. Gronk will likely need about 12 weeks of recovery time before he’s ready to rejoin the Patriots on the field. So, with that in mind, the All-Pro tight end will start the preseason on the physically-unable-to-perform (PUP) list, according to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network. The preseason PUP list has no bearing on Gronk’s availability to start the season. It does open up an extra roster spot for the Patriots until Gronk is ready to retake the practice field. He can be removed from the preseason PUP at any time during training camp. The Patriots won’t have to make a decision about whether to put Gronk on the regular season PUP list or not until Sept. 1. The normal recovery period would put Gronk’s return right around the regular season opener on Sept. 7, but, considering his long string of surgeries this offseason, he will likely need more than the typical recovery timeline to get ready for game action. Have a question for Luke Hughes? Send it to him via Twitter at @LukeFHughes or send it here.

This article first appeared on NESN.com and was syndicated with permission.

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