Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski had a fourth surgery Monday to help repair the left forearm that he broke twice in the 2012 season, a league source confirmed to the Globe.
The surgery took place Monday afternoon at Massachusetts General Hospital and was performed by Dr. Jesse Jupiter, an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in hand and upper-extremity injuries.
The surgery Monday was to replace the plate in Gronkowski's forearm, after he developed an infection in the area. Assuming the infection has completely cleared -- and that appears to be the case, the source said -- Gronkowski can then begin his 8- to 10-week rehab to repair the break, which could affect his availability for the start of training camp in late July.
A fifth surgery on the arm appears unlikely at this point, according to the source.
Gronkowski originally broke his forearm last Nov. 18, returned to action Dec. 30 in Week 17, and re-broke the bone Jan. 13 against Houston in the divisional playoffs.
And it may not be the last time Gronkowski goes under the knife this offseason. He may also need surgery to repair a disk in his back, but that would likely take place during his recovery from forearm surgery, and likely wouldn't force him to miss much, if any, training camp.