The New England Patriots and Rob Gronkowskis family released a joint statement Thursday night confirming that the star tight end will undergo back surgery Friday, while saying, We do not expect that he will be able to play for the remainder of the 2016 season, but will await the results of tomorrows surgery before making a final determination.The statement further clarified Gronkowskis injury status, which initially was traced to the big hit he absorbed from Seattle Seahawks safety Earl Thomas on Nov. 13.Rob sustained a hit to the chest that resulted in a pulmonary contusion to his lung. Rob was examined by several specialists at Massachusetts General Hospital as directed by the team, as well as an independent physician, the sides said in the statement.He received medical clearance to return to play two weeks later for the New York Jets game on November 27. After a hit early in the Jets game, Rob began to experience significant back and leg pain. This injury forced him to leave the game, and he did not return.This marks the second straight season that the team and Gronkowskis family have released a joint statement on his injury status. The club has seldom, if ever, done so with other players.The statement also said, With the help of the Patriots medical staff, along with the consultation of several medical experts, it has been determined that it is in Robs best long-term interest to undergo surgery to address his lower back injury.Rob has always been one of our hardest workers and was voted captain for the leadership he provides on our team. We are deeply saddened any time a player is lost to injury. We are committed to assisting Rob throughout his recovery and look forward to his return to playing football for the New England Patriots.Earlier Thursday, a source told ESPNs Adam Schefter that Gronkowski has been diagnosed with a herniated disk. The need for surgery was first reported by The Buffalo News.This will be Gronkowskis third back surgery. He has had two previous surgeries to repair herniated disks in his back -- in 2009, when he was at the University of Arizona and missed the entire season, and in 2013, his fourth season with the Patriots, when he underwent surgery in June and didnt return until Week 7.This season, Gronkowski returned to action Sunday after missing the teams game against the Niners the week before because of a chest injury.Obviously were all disappointed, Patriots coach Bill Belichick said Friday. Nobody has worked harder than Rob and been a better teammate. So hopefully things will work out positively as possible with him. All the information we gave you is really all we have for now. Im sure there will be more coming in as we go through the next few days. So well just take it as it comes. Its an unfortunate situation for him.Gronkowski played seven snaps in the 22-17 win over the Jets, leaving the game late in the first quarter as he walked off under his own power while accompanied by members of the teams medical staff. The team later announced he had sustained a back injury during the game and would not return.It was unclear on what play Gronkowski was hurt. It could have happened on a third-and-7 with 9:04 remaining in the first quarter; Gronkowski was the intended receiver on a deep pass down the middle of the field as he dived for the ball. But Gronkowski played one more series after that play, and he was the intended receiver on an incomplete pass down the right sideline on a third-and-4 before walking off.The Patriots are nearly two-touchdown favorites for Sundays home game against the Los Angeles Rams.It doesnt help losing great players, and to not have Gronk out there -- one of our best players and one of our most dependable, consistent players -- makes things challenging for us, quarterback Tom Brady told Westwood One Radio on Thursday night. But thats what the NFL season is about. Its about overcoming challenges, adversities.Brady, who is listed as having a knee injury, returned to the field Thursday after missing practice the previous day. He told Westwood One, Im feeling so much better today. Im excited about this weekend, going out there and playing against a great Rams defense ... Ill be feeling a lot better than I was feeling last week.The Patriots used their injured reserve/return designation on quarterback Jacoby Brissett on Wednesday, so the team wouldnt be able to place Gronkowski on injured reserve and activate him if it makes a deep playoff run. Each team is allowed to designate only one player to return.Austin Watson Jersey . Just not the game. Kyle Palmieri scored two straight goals in the third period to rally the Anaheim Ducks past the Philadelphia Flyers 3-2 on Tuesday night. Colton Sissons Jersey .500 on the season. The Jets are now 0-5-1 in the second game of back-to-backs. The game started the same way the Vancouver game started the night before, with the Jets taking the first two penalties of the game and killing off the first, but the Oilers getting on the board first, scoring on the second man-advantage. http://www.cheappredatorsjerseyschina.com/ . 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Wholesale Predators Jerseys . - Connor McDavid scored 53 seconds into overtime as the Erie Otters came from behind to defeat the visiting Guelph Storm 4-3 on Saturday in Ontario Hockey League action.KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Frank Mason III and Josh Jackson took it as a shot to their pride.Bill Self was just trying to win a game.The Jayhawks coach turned to a zone defense Tuesday night, a rarity for a guy whose hallmark is a relentless man-to-man, and that slowed down Georgia enough to give fifth-ranked Kansas a 65-54 victory over the Bulldogs in the CBE Classic championship game.I didnt think it was a hit (to their pride), Self explained, but you know, if you cant guard their bigs and you cant rebound out of man, we had to try to do something.On the other end, Mason led the way with 19 points, Jackson had 15 points and 11 rebounds and Devonte Graham contributed 14 points for the Jayhawks (4-1), who won their third consecutive in-season tournament title and second CBE Classic. They also won the event in 2012.Jackson, one of the nations top freshmen, was voted MVP.Kansas hopes its the beginning of a sweet ride at the Sprint Center this season. The Jayhawks face Davidson in the same building in a couple of weeks, then play the Big 12 Tournament there in March before the arena hosts an NCAA Tournament regional final, where they hope to earn a spot in the Final Four.Yante Maten had 30 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Bulldogs (3-2), but they were done in by 3-for-18 shooting from the perimeter, equally lousy foul shooting and turnovers that led to easy runouts.J.J. Frazier, who had been averaging 19 points per game, was held to two on 1-for-10 shooting.You have to make shots to win, Georgia coach Mark Fox said. We didnt shoot the ball very good. Give Kansas defense credit for that. But we shot the ball so poorly the first three-quarters of the game, we didnt score enough to get in position to win it.The zone defenses, which neither coach particularly enjoy, were a big reason for it. They slowed the game and turned it into a shooting contest.We havent really done it much so it was kind of new to us, Jackson said, but obviously it worked. For our pride a little bit, we really wanted to play man, but to win the gamee, we had to go zone.dddddddddddd.Kansas was a bit more efficient from the perimeter, slowly drawing away after trailing 20-19 with about 8 minutes to go, to forge a 35-25 lead at the break. The Bulldogs only made one of their final 16 field goal attempts, and their only scoring in the final 5 minutes came at the foul line.The lead was still just 42-34 with 16 minutes to go when Mason drove for a basket, the first of eight straight points for the Jayhawks. Mason added another basket, Jackson solved the Bulldogs zone for a dunk and Graham and Dwight Coleby finished it off to give Kansas a comfortable cushion.Georgia went more than 7 minutes without scoring as the game got away.We were prepared to play. We thought we could win the game. Were disappointed we didnt win, Fox said. We didnt have enough guys chip in, and for us to win, we have to have more guys contribute.POST PROBLEMSThe Jayhawks post players were virtually non-existent. Landen Lucas never took a shot before fouling out in 10 minutes, Udoka Abuika played only 5 minutes and never took a shot, and Carlton Bragg Jr. finished 1 for 3 from the floor while gathering just one rebound in 10 minutes.Theyre just not playing very well and not playing very smart and not contributing, Self said. They are good kids and they want to do well, but for whatever reason they have really struggled.BIG PICTUREGeorgia earned a split in the CBE Classic, and losing to Kansas doesnt hurt its NCAA Tournament resume. The Bulldogs showed in their win over George Washington that they can be competitive.Kansas has already proven it can score this season. On Tuesday night, the Jayhawks proved they can play a little defense, too, even if it meant ditching Selfs preferred man-to-man.UP NEXTGeorgia begins a five-game homestand against Gardner-Webb on Friday night.Kansas plays UNC-Asheville on Friday night in its second game at Allen Fieldhouse this season. ' ' '