By now you have all heard about Brandon Roy’s surgery scheduled for Thursday. The Blazers’ press release says an MRI identified a torn meniscus. If you have read the thread below this one, covering the first few hours after the news was released, you’ll notice a tendency to take this news in the worst way possible. That’s perfectly natural given what we all went through last year with Greg Oden. But this is not the same as the Oden situation. Let’s talk about what it is and what it isn’t.
Tearing the meniscus is a somewhat common basketball injury. This type of surgery has happened to at least ten NBA players in the last few years. A helpful source has updated our information on the matter, letting us know the frequency of the occurrence and also the types of procedures which are common. Apparently they either fix or remove the affected area. The removal is a quicker recovery, six to eight weeks being usual. The fix takes longer to heal, somewhere in the area of three months. Nine out of the ten players researched by our source had the quicker removal instead of the fix.
In our source’s own words, repeated from the previous post:
There are two types of surgery like this. There’s a minor, and a more serious repair. Gilbert Arenas had a pretty significant tear, and was out three months. But, there are cases where it’s much more minor.
’s Craig Smith just had this same procedure on August 2nd, and they put his timetable at 6 weeks... The team should release a timeline after the surgery in the morning. They probably just need to get in there and see how bad it is. Out of habit, we’re all thinking the worst. But, hopefully it won’t be that bad. Minnesota
We’ve also been updated that the Arenas surgery involved extra elements which lengthened the recovery time. In all likelihood this is more serious than what will happen with
If you have not read it yet, Jason Quick has more information in this vein, including some specifics on
Having read all of that, let’s put this into perspective:
Brandon Roy is having surgery. It’s not an uncommon procedure. He’s going to take a while to recover, probably between six weeks and three months. There is no reason to assume at this point that it will be any more serious than that. We will know more as soon as the surgery has been completed, which should be today.
That’s it. No more, no less.
Now let’s talk about the ramifications a little.
As our source reminded us, we are still 80-some days away from the start of the season. At the short end of the recovery time
Even if you go ahead and assume the worst, that
First and foremost, those first 2-3 weeks are brutal to the extreme. Even with a healthy
Second, though you wouldn’t want to replace
Leadership: We will never replace
Poise: This will be the area hardest to replace. Even on a team of youngsters
Scoring: This looks like the key aspect to
Clutch Play: In his rookie year
Penetration: Here again our rookies may come into play, particularly Bayless. He’s a slicer and dicer and can put the ball on the floor like
Passing: Rudy Fernandez could provide a temporary stopgap here as well. He’s every bit as willing to pass as
Now let me be clear: I am NOT saying everything will be fine with this assortment of people stepping in. I am NOT suggesting that two rookies, two young and developing small forwards, and Steve Blake make a seamless substitute for Brandon Roy. I am saying this team will probably not fall apart completely, nor be left with an irreparably gaping hole, should
If you put all of that together you see that even though this is a bummer it’s not the demise of all the team’s hopes and dreams even for this season, let alone for seasons to come. The effects will show, but they’ll show less prominently than they otherwise could have. You can’t stop these things from happening. Despite the Blazers seeming specially cursed the truth is injuries happen to every team…yes, to stars too. But you can hope for the injuries to have as little effect as possible. Unless something goes really haywire it appears that this, even at its worst, will be at the lower end of the potential effect scale.