BOSTON (CBS) – Patriots fans are holding onto hope that Rob Gronkowski could recover from back surgery in time for a potential Super Bowl appearance.

But one doctor with first-hand experience working on the superstar tight end isn’t convinced.

Related: Rob Gronkowski’s Long History Of Injuries

News broke Thursday on the extent of Gronkowski’s injury, with reports indicating he is expected to miss at least eight weeks following surgery.

Rob Gronkowski is carted off the field with Dr. Thomas Gill after suffering an ACL and MCL injury during the 2013 season. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Rob Gronkowski is carted off the field with Dr. Thomas Gill after suffering an ACL and MCL injury during the 2013 season. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Dr. Thomas Gill, who was the Patriots team doctor until 2014, operated on Gronkowski in the past. Gill currently works as an orthopedic surgeon St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Boston.

“Six to eight weeks might be realistic for the first time, and if this (injury) is at a new level, sure it’s realistic,” Gill told WBZ-TV, adding that Gronkowski’s previous back surgeries will likely impact his recovery time. “It’s more than likely going to be at one of the recurrent levels, in which case I would be very wary.”

Gill added that there are additional factors coming into play that will decide if Gronkowski can return to the Patriots before season end.

“It’s going to be part medical, and with Rob’s agent and family being very closely involved, there’s a lot of things that are going to return to play rather than just the medical side of it,” said Gill. “I would be really surprised if he would come back again.”

Comments