A preseason knee-injury has cost Danny Granger most of his eighth season in the NBA. While he was able to make a brief comeback a month ago, the 6-foot-8 forward has only manged to suit up five times this season for the Indiana Pacers.
Now, a recent setback with the knee–and not much word coming from the Pacers camp–has many wondering when exactly Granger will be ready to go.
That all leads to the ultimate question: should the Pacers bring back Granger at all this season?
Let’s tackle the injury aspect of that question first. Granger has patellar tendinosis, which is also known as “jumper’s knee.”
Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star recently talked to Dr. Christopher Kaeding, an orthopedic surgeon at Ohio State University Sports Medicine, about this type of injury.
“You start to feel better, but as soon as you get back and you start going hard, it’s not uncommon for the pain to come back,” Kaeding told the Indianapolis Star. “That’s why it’s such a challenging problem.”
Kaeding went on to mention how this issue can cause so much pain that it can make it difficult for people to walk up and down stairs, that there is 15 to 20 treatments for it, and that “it’s not an easy problem to treat, specially in athletes who continue to be active.”
I don’t know about you, but none of that sounds too promising for Granger getting back to where he was anytime soon.
Now to the basketball side. The Pacers have 11 games left on their regular season schedule — which equates to 23 days. Within a few days after that, Indiana will obviously begin their first-round playoff series, leaving little time to work Granger back into the equation, figure out his new role on this current roster, and more importantly, get him back to anything close to his prime form.
While the Pacers have been hush-hush with the injury, they have said they hope to have Granger back for the playoffs. But is that the smartest idea for a team that has been successful without him? In his five games this season, he’s come off the bench, but offered little in return. Is that his role if he does come back? Then who gets bumped from a rotation that has helped put the Pacers near the top of the Eastern conference standings?
And, if the Pacers do bring him off the bench in the playoffs, are they willing to risk him not being up to par with the rest of the team, and ultimately harming their potential?
There’s more questions than certainties with Granger’s knee and a whole lot of “ifs.” Tread carefully, Pacers.