Rosenhaus made the comments today in an interview on WQAM in Miami. (And they were thankfully transcribed by both ProFootballTalk.com and ESPNBoston.com.)
"This is a lingering problem that Rob's had for a while that's he's been playing with, actually through all of last season," Rosenhaus said on WQAM. "The recovery will be very comparable to the amount of time he'll miss with the arm surgery. So why not get it down and make sure when he is healthy he's 100 percent and doesn't have to address the back down the road?"
Rosenhaus was clear to differentiate this back injury from the one that required surgery back in 2009, when Gronkowski missed his final season at Arizona before being drafted by the Patriots in the second round the following spring.
"This is a new injury and it's minor, it's not as significant [as the prior back injury]," Rosenhaus said. "I don't think it's a big deal, I think it's more preventive maintenance than anything else. It's something that, although he needs it, he's had it for a while and he's been able to function."
Rosenhaus says that the recovery time from this upcoming back surgery for Gronkowski will coincide with that from his recent fourth surgery on his left forearm.
"It's certainly, as I said, the recovery time will be consistent with the recovery time that he's going to be out anyway, so I don't think it's a big deal. ... Although he needs it, he had it for a while and he's been able to function."
"Bottom line is, Rob had a successful forearm operation last month, I was there in Boston with him, everything went very well; he's [doing] great," Rosenhaus said. "He's doing so well now [that] he can afford to get back surgery. This is a lingering problem that Rob's been playing with, actually through all of last season and now that he's out with the arm for a set period of time, it's something that he eventually would have to do, and the recovery will be very comparable to the amount of time he would have missed with the arm surgery, so why not get it done now and make sure when he is healthy he's 100 percent and he doesn't have to address the back down the road. I used the cliche 'we're killing two birds with one stone' by getting the back surgery when he's out and recovering with his arm, because he really can't do much right now anyway."