It’s that bad.
Brandon Roy wants back in — he’s had both knees operated on one month ago and now gotten the go ahead to practice with the team. Because he is as competitive as anyone in the league he wants to play and push the Trail Blazers into the playoffs.
But the Blazers have some serious questions to ask themselves about how and when to use Roy. Because his time with them is limited.
His knees are that bad. John Canzano at the Oregonian spoke to one of the surgeons who consulted on Roy, and the picture is bleak.
Consulting surgeon said that the Blazers had already operated twice before on Roy’s knee, and the surgeon said, “Either the original doctor who did those procedures wasn’t forthcoming with the Blazers… or the team was in complete denial about what was going on with his knees…”
The “consulting surgeon” whispers that he believes the best-case strategy for handling Roy is this: A) Limit Roy’s practice reps to almost nothing; B) Play him off the bench in 65-75 or so games a season, choosing rest in key spots; C) pray.
Surgeon suspects the Blazers might get 1-2 years out of Roy employing this strategy. Right now, I think they’d take that, and hope for the best. Roy is a fierce competitor and I won’t count him out.
That is depressing. We knew Roy had no meniscus left in his knees, but still this just hits home somehow. Roy is a competitor but that will not grow cartilage in his knee. And that is the only way he becomes the Roy of a couple years ago again.
The real question becomes this: If the Blazers knew his knees were this bad — and you can bet the surgeons from before told them the facts about Roy’s knees — why did they sign him to a five-year max extension? Roy is in the first year of a five-year deal, $83 million right now and that deal is going to hold back the Blazers rebuilding efforts down the line. In light of the medical evidence, it’s hard to see why this deal was struck.