Thunder Rumblings

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From Westbrook to CP3, the NBA's point guard injury epidemic continues

by Erik Horne Published: January 10, 2014
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Point guards are going down like dominoes in the NBA. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman
Point guards are going down like dominoes in the NBA. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman

Phoenix Suns guard Eric Bledsoe is injured and will need exploratory knee surgery on his right knee, as reported on Thursday. He’ll be out for an indefinite period of time.

Sound familiar?

There’s a point guard injury epidemic going around the NBA in the past year, particularly when it comes to knees, from Rajon Rondo, to Derrick Rose, to the Oklahoma City Thunder’s own Russell Westbrook. Some have been more serious than others, but there’s no denying that in the past calendar year, the injuries to star point guards in the league have been alarming.

And the injury bug hasn’t just been restricted to knees. In addition to Bledsoe, two more starting point guards were sidelined this week alone.

The New Orleans Pelicans found out Friday that Jrue Holiday is going to miss some significant time with a stress fracture, and Chris Paul went down in L.A. with a shoulder injury. The Bledsoe blow is especially big for Phoenix, which was overachieving with a 21-13 mark as of Friday.

Sometimes, watching the Thunder go iso-ball Durant vs. the World can be depressing. The same rings true for the other point guardless teams right now (how excited are you for Bulls basketball without D-Rose? The Bulls themselves were so excited, they traded one of their best players this week).

In his Yahoo! Sports blog Thursday, Kelly Dwyer made the point that any and every injury seems to be happening to point guards this season. The latest string of PG hits can’t be taken lightly, Dwyer says:

“Meniscus tears aren’t as severe as ACL tears, and the recovery time is faster, but lingering aftereffects haunt meniscus tear sufferers in ways that don’t dog ACL patients. The dreaded microfracture surgery is sometimes employed should a player’s knee never return to full strength, especially if the doctors decide to trim the torn meniscus in order to encourage a speedier return to the court. That was the case for Dwyane Wade (and luckily, not Rose and Westbrook) when he tore his meniscus in college, and though he’s never undergone microfracture surgery, he has suffered from knee issues throughout his career.”

That’s the worry with Westbrook. It’s not about whether or not he’ll be back (our Darnell Mayberry wrote a piece on Westbrook’s possible early return), but it’s about continual knee issues throughout his career.

That’s the worry with all of the point guards listed — amazing athletes whose odds of breaking down increase with every injury. It’s adding up, particularly at the point guard position.


by Erik Horne
Online Sports Editor
Erik Horne joined The Oklahoman as a sports web editor/producer in September 2013, following a five-year stint at The Ardmoreite (Ardmore) – first as a sports writer, then sports editor. At The Ardmoreite, Horne reported on everything from prep...
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