Rob Gronkowski, a former New England Patriot who announced his resignation in March, said in an interview that he had about 20 problems in his life.
Thirty-year-old Gronkowski told CBS News Correspondent Reena Ninan that he would only allow a future son to play football after informing him about the suffering he had suffered over the past decade.
"I truly believe that every injury you receive is repairable," Gronkowski said. "I went through it. I had nine surgeries, probably 20 concussions in my life, no lie. I remember five blackouts. "
Gronkowski, a three-time Super Bowl champion, established himself as one of the most dominant tight ends in NFL history and was named four-time All-Pro First Team. In his final season, however, he was afflicted by back, knee, ankle and arm injuries, which limited his ability to stay on the field.
He finished his career with 521 receptions for 7,861 yards and 79 touchdowns and was one of the most dominant receivers in the game when he was fully fit. He was also known for his colorful personality on and off the field.
Last month, Gronkowski reflected on the hours after the Super Bowl LIII – the last game of his career – when he played a pivotal role in the Patriots' 13-3 victory against the Los Angeles Rams.
He could not enjoy it because of the pain.
Gronkowski was hit in the quadriceps during the game, leaving the deepest bruise he ever had in his life. He could not walk properly for weeks and slept only 20 minutes a night.
His mood was unstable – for a moment he would feel good, as if he had overcome the discomfort. The next moment would hurt him, he could not even sit down without focusing on the pain. The next month he had to drain one liter of blood from his thigh.
Then he knew it was time to retire.
"I was fine. This is a sign, "he told The Associated Press in August. "I told my friends that this is a farewell gift from the NFL."