Gronk not expected to play again this season

New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski walks off the field with an injury during a game against the New York Jets, Sunday, Nov. 27, 2016, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)
New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski walks off the field with an injury during a game against the New York Jets, Sunday, Nov. 27, 2016, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

FOXBORO, Mass. (WPRI) — Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is set to undergo back surgery on Friday to repair a herniated disk, according to a statement by the Patriots.

The team does not expect Gronkowski to return for the rest of the season but will wait for the surgery results before making any final decisions.

Gronkowski left Sunday’s game against the Jets in the first quarter after experiencing significant back and leg pain. He was not present for practice on Wednesday.

The team stated Thursday, “we are committed to assisting Rob throughout his recovery and look forward to his return to playing football for the New England Patriots.”

The Pro Bowl tight end was uncertain to play Sunday after missing the previous game against the 49ers with a chest injury.

Gronowski has missed 18 regular season games due to various injuries since his debut in 2010. Despite that, no one has scored more receiving touchdowns in that time period than Gronkowski, who’s reeled in 68.

The 27-year-old underwent similar surgery while at Arizona in 2009 – causing him to miss that entire season – and again during the summer of 2013.