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Look out, Rhode Island. Gronk has a new set of wheels and is on the loose.
In Whole Foods. Buying groceries. Wearing a hoodie. Snapping photos with little kids. (A far cry from this, eh?)
I guess that’s what happens when you tear your ACL and MCL, reducing you from 6’6″ beast of an NFL tight end to a geriatric patient. Knowing Gronk, though, he’s probably cajoling fellow shoppers to lob him melons and grapefruits as he runs seam routes down the produce aisle in his motorized scooter.
But don’t get too depressed, Patriots fans. He may not be around for the rest of this season (and lord knows they could use him in games like last week’s), but Gronkowski is reportedly scheduled to have surgery to repair his right knee at the beginning of next year. The Boston Globe reports that Dr. James Andrews will perform the surgery, just as he did on Celtics All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo (and Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, for that matter).
Since he didn’t dislocate his knee, surgery in early January should still put Gronkowski on track to return for the opening kickoff of the 2014 Patriots season. I wouldn’t hold my breath, though, because I can’t imagine he’ll come back so soon (Week 1 would be less than a year after his injury, and roughly nine months post-surgery), especially with his injury history (five surgeries this past offseason) and given the timeline he took to return this year. (Besides, holding your breath until the start of next season is a long time even if Gronkowski somehow returns to the field for the opener.)
In the meantime, let’s just hope Michael Hoomanawanui can keep doing his best impression of Gronk reincarnate.