Super Bowl LI will be played Feb. 5 in Houston, so the all-pro's season is most likely over.
Robert Watkins will operate on Gronk's back for the third time since 2009, according to the Boston Herald.
Gronkowski, who's missed three games with various ailments this season, did not finish Sunday's win against the
He's also dealt with hamstring issues and a punctured lung this year.
It's a big blow to the AFC East-leading Patriots, but
Injuries have long been an issue for the seventh-year veteran. He underwent surgery to repair his ankle following Super Bowl XLVI in 2012. He broke his forearm the following season and needed surgery, and then required another operation after he re-injured it. And in 2013, he underwent a third procedure, this time to clean an infection in the forearm. A fourth surgery on his arm was performed, and he also had subsequent back surgery.
Gronkowski has also had reconstructive knee surgery.
Friday's procedure will be the eighth known surgical operation of his NFL career.PHOTOS | A look back at Gronk's 2016 season