Gronkowski’s injured arm needs further surgery
New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is expected to undergo a fourth surgery next week to replace a plate inserted into the left forearm that was broken during a game in November, according to multiple reports Friday.
Doctors are hoping that a persistent infection in the arm has cleared through medication, but it won’t be determined until the surgery.
ESPN.com reported that Gronkowski consulted with orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews and that the procedure will be performed by upper-limb specialist Dr. Jesse Jupiter of Massachusetts General Hospital.
ITALIAN OPEN: Top-ranked Novak Djokovic wasted a chance to serve out the match and was beaten 2-6, 7-5, 6-4 by sixth-seeded Tomas Berdych in Rome.
It’s the second consecutive week Djokovic has struggled, having also lost to Grigor Dimitrov in the second round of the Madrid Open, where he was bothered by a right ankle injury.
Djokovic said he had been playing pain-free this week.
Still, he will need to get his game in shape in a hurry with the French Open starting in less than 10 days on May 26.
n In the women’s draw, top-ranked Serena Williams rolled past Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro 6-2, 6-0 to extend her winning streak to a career-best 22 matches.
Williams had twice won 21 in a row before, although both of those runs came a decade ago, in 2002 and 2003.
VENTURI DIES: Ken Venturi, who overcame dehydration to win the 1964 U.S. Open and spent 35 years in the booth for CBS Sports, died Friday afternoon — 12 days after he was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame. He was 82.
PGA: Keegan Bradley shot a 1-under 69 in a round that started and ended with bogeys, good enough for a three-stroke lead after two rounds in the Byron Nelson Championship at Irving, Texas.
Tom Gillis, who shot 63 in the first group of the day off the No. 10 tee, and Sang-Moon Bae were tied for second.
LPGA: Jessica Korda shot a 7-under 65 to take a one-stroke lead over Hall of Famer Karrie Webb after the second round of the Mobile Bay LPGA Classic at Mobile, Ala.
Korda, the 2012 Women’s Australian Open winner, had seven birdies in her second straight bogey-free round to reach 13 under on The Crossings course at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail’s Magnolia Grove complex.
EUROPEAN TOUR: Scotland’s Craig Lee took a one-stroke lead over American Peter Uihlein and Chile’s Mark Tullo during the suspended second round of the Madeira Islands Open at Santo da Serra.
Lee shot a 4-under 68 to reach 9-under 135 at Santo da Serra Golf Club.
Uihlein, the former Oklahoma State star who won the 2010 U.S. Amateur, settled for a 64 after playing the first 12 holes in 10 under with an eagle and eight birdies. He bogeyed Nos. 15 and 16.
WORLD MATCH PLAY: Ian Poulter was eliminated after losing another round-robin match at Kavarna, Bulgaria.
NASCAR: Carl Edwards captured the pole for the Sprint All-Star race at North Carolina’s Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Kurt Busch will start alongside Edwards on the front row Saturday night. Greg Biffle, Kyle Busch and Joe Logano round out the top five.
TOUR OF CALIFORNIA: Tejay van Garderen raced to a dominating individual time trial victory to extend his overall lead over Australian Michael Rogers at San Jose, Calif.
Van Garderen, the 24-year-old BMC rider who grew up in Bozeman, Mont., completed the 19.6-mile route in 48 minutes, 52 seconds.
GIRO D’ITALIA: Britain’s Mark Cavendish sprinted to victory in the 13th and longest stage at Cherasco, Italy.
Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins and defending champion Ryder Hesjedal withdrew.
— From news services