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Gronkowski Says Focus Is ' To Get This Body Back Out On The Field,' Not On Retiring

BOSTON (CBS) -- Given Rob Gronkowski's history of back injuries, and given the nine surgeries he's undergone in his career, some media members and doctors speculated this week that his most recent injury could end his career.

The all-world tight end disagrees.

Gronkowski released a statement to Fox Sports' Jay Glazer, saying that he's focused on getting back on the field.

"I highly appreciate the support from all my teammates, friends and family and the courage to stay strong," Gronkowski said.  "I am excited to knock this rehab out and get this core extra strong and looking super fresh to get this body back out on the field."

Gronkowski, 27, owns the Patriots' franchise record for touchdowns with 69, scored in just 88 games played. He's also scored nine touchdowns in 10 playoff games. He was officially placed on injured reserve on Saturday, a day after undergoing surgery to repair a herniated disc.

Injuries have been a consistent problem for him throughout his career, but he made it clear that the most recent surgery won't put an end to his on-field dominance.

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