After the season ended, Carmelo Anthony was diagnosed with a slight tear in his left shoulder. Sources have told different media outlets covering the Knicks that the team’s doctors suggested rest to see if it will heal on its own.
The one question though has been what happens if that doesn’t work and surgery is needed to have it heal properly?
If that is the case, people have speculated has been that Anthony would need to take the entire summer and training camp to heal.
That would then put his availability for the beginning of the season in jeopardy
ESPN New York’s Ian Begley talked with Dr. Neil Roth, an orthopedic surgeon, about the injury and what could happen if Melo did need surgery.
Dr. Neil Roth, a veteran orthopedic surgeon who specializes in shoulder and knee care, estimated that Anthony might need up to four months to recover from surgery to repair his shoulder.
In that case, the procedure could sideline Anthony through late October. He’d likely need several days — weeks? — of practice before he could play in a game.
“It depends on the exact diagnosis, but it’s possible that the rehab could take four months,” said Roth, an orthopedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine and the tending physician at Lenox Hill Hospital. “But I would still expect him to see significant improvements in his shoulder in the early portion of the season as he continues to strengthen it.”
Roth believes Anthony may have suffered a shoulder subluxation. A subluxation is a partial dislocation — a temporary stretching or tearing of shoulder muscles, ligaments and tendons that can cause instability in the shoulder.
“It was likely very painful to him,” Roth said. “The area was probably very sensitive and inflamed and that’s why he was grabbing at it when he was hit.”
Roth says there is a chance that Anthony’s injury can heal with rest. But, depending on the severity of the tear, surgery might be the preferred avenue of care.
“There are many different types of labrum tears that vary characteristically by symptom, severity and treatment,” Roth said. “Recurring subluxations can sometimes get better with rehab, but in a contact athlete like Carmelo I would treat it aggressively and fix it if it’s the type of tear that’s amenable to repair.”
Anthony hurt his shoulder on April 14th against the Pacers but it was in Game Five against Boston where the injury may have gotten worse.
Kevin Garnett yanked on his arm and caused it to, as Anthony put it, “pop in and out.” He still led the Knicks in scoring during the playoffs and which includes scoring 39 points in the Game Six loss to Indiana.
Surgery is both a good thing and a bad thing for Melo right now when it comes to healing the shoulder.
It would be a good thing because the doctors would have a chance to see what exactly the issue is and get him 100% healthy. The bad part would be that surgery would force him most likely to miss the beginning of the season.
Now if Melo is going to miss a part of the next season due to injury I rather he missed time in November than later on in the season. Of course with the different diagnosis that the Knicks medical staff were giving out this year to different injuries, you never really know what is going on for sure.
The doctor that was interviewed for the article quoted above has not examined Melo and was just giving his professional opinion based on his experience in this field.
So you can take it as more an opinion than absolute fact. The point is that until Melo and the Knicks give an update on how the plan of rest works, we wont really know what he is in store for the rest of this summer.
Obviously if he can avoid surgery and be ready for training camp at 100% that would be for the best. That is what the Knicks are hoping for with the suggestion of rest to see if it heals on its own that way.
We know the Knicks will only go as far as Melo takes them. No matter how the shoulder gets healthy, as long as it gets to the point, that is what counts the most.