It appears Rob Gronkowski could be ready to start the season after back surgery, but it may be wise for the Patriots to give the All-Pro tight end some added rehab time.
Several medical experts told Ben Volin of The Boston Globe, that the typical recovery period after herniated disk surgery is 12 weeks. Several former players told Volin that they didn’t feel right until up to a year following surgery, though.
The 12-week period includes six weeks to let the scar heal and another six to get back in football shape. Gronkowski missed his entire 2009 season at the University of Arizona with a similar issue, though he had surgery in September of 2009 in that situation.
Former NFL players Ross Tucker and Kyle Turley, both of whom had herniated disk surgery, told Volin that the Patriots should start Gronkowski on the PUP list to let him fully recover. Dr. Wellington Hsu, an associate professor at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, told Volin that he would be more worried about Gronkowski’s forearm than his back.