Just as the news was getting better on Rob Gronkowsi's arm, there's word his back is once again acting up and could require surgery as well.

The New England Patriots' tight end recently underwent an MRI on his back to check on a disc issue he had dating back to last season, a person informed of Gronkowski's medical status told USA TODAY Sports.

The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the Patriots' policy of not publicly detailing injuries, said the issue is with a different disc than the one that needed to be shaved down in via surgery 2009 and that a final decision on whether surgery will be required has not yet been made. The person said Gronkowski will see noted spine specialist Robert Watkins in the near future, after next week's surgery to install a new plate into his forearm.

The person said the hope is, if surgery on his back is required, Gronkowski will be back within the same time frame as his recovery from the arm injury, which he initially suffered in November but has been prolonged because of an infection in the limb.

Gronkowski missed the entire 2009 season – his last year in college, at Arizona – with his first spinal issue. He was sidelined for the NFL scouting combine that February, which hurt his draft status and allowed the Patriots to select him in the second round.

Leading up to the draft, there was a report Gronkowski had spinal stenosis (a narrowing of the spine), but his agent Drew Rosenhaus denied that was the case. Gronkowski's latest issue appears to once again be a disc issue and not an indication of a career-threatening issue.