Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski could be ruled out for several weeks with fractured ribs, according to a report.
The 32-year-old will not form a part of the travelling party for his side's game with former team New England Patriots after suffering the injury during last week's defeat to the LA Rams.
Gronkowski was able to see out the game and was initially thought to have only sustained a minor problem, but according to ESPN, the issue is more severe and will sideline him for longer.
The report adds that the tight end's fractured ribs were diagnosed during MRI scans despite previously reassuring test results, with a source telling the publication: "We held out hope all week that Gronk would be ready. He's a different breed."
Gronkowski was understood to have been pictured undergoing stretching exercises during Friday's session, but he was nowhere to be seen on Wednesday or Thursday.
As a result, Gronkowski will be forced to miss the reunion with the Patriots after spending nine seasons with the team, winning three Super Bowl titles before being traded to the Buccaneers after a year-long hiatus.