Rob Gronkowski won’t play another down this season, but he has every intention of returning to the field once his surgically repaired back is healed.

In his first public comments since undergoing back surgery for a third time, the New England Patriots tight end told FOX’s Jay Glazer he has ever intention of playing next season.

“I highly appreciate the support from all my teammates, friends and family and the courage to stay strong,” Gronkowski told Glazer, as aired on “FOX NFL Sunday.” “I am excited to knock out this rehab and get this core extra strong and looking super fresh to get this body back out on the field.”

After reading Gronkowski’s statement on air, Glazer added that the four-time All-Pro “has no plans to retire.”

“There’s a lot of doctors out there right now speculating, ‘Could this be it for him?’ ” Glazer said. “Absolutely not. … He will be back next season.”

Gronkowski underwent surgery Friday and was placed on injured reserve Saturday, ruling him out for the remainder of the season. He played in eight games before going under the knife, catching 25 passes for 540 yards — an NFL-best 21.6 yards per reception — and three touchdowns.

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Thumbnail photo via Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY Sports Images