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Rob Gronkowski has 'no doubt' he'll be ready next year

Rob Gronkowski underwent season-ending back surgery in December but says he'll be ready for the New England Patriots' title defense.

Gronk's December surgery to fix a herniated disc was the third on his back, dating back to his college days. The most recent back injury stemmed from a brutal hit by Seattle Seahawks safety Earl Thomas. The tight end previously missed time in 2016 with a hamstring injury and bruised lung.

Throughout his football career, the 27-year-old Gronk has endured eight surgeries. He played just eight games in 2016 and has only appeared in 16 games twice in his career.

Despite the litany of injuries, Gronkowski isn't planning on hanging up his cleats anytime soon.

"I'm not really sure," he said when asked how long he plans on continuing his career. "I still love playing the game, and as of right now, I want to play as long as I can possibly play. My mindset is to keep on going."

With Gronk's injury history, the question for the Patriots this offseason is whether to possibly break the bank to keep free agent Martellus Bennett in New England as insurance at the position.

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