It’s not something they often talk about, but professional athletes — NBA, NFL, Barclays Premier League, NHL, MLB, and so on — all know that every time they lace it up they could suffer a catastrophic injury. It’s part of the risk of sport. They block it out of their minds because they couldn’t play all out if they did, but they know it could happen.
And when it does happen to someone else they are shaken, but they move on.
That’s what happened with Paul George and Team USA — every other member of the squad was shaken, but nobody is dropping out. Marc Stein and Brian Windhorst of ESPN have the details in a report.
Although there is undoubtedly heightened concern within the group after watching George suffer a horrendous compound leg fracture late in Friday night’s intrasquad scrimmage, sources told ESPN.com that various Team USA players have talked among themselves about the need to stay together, with showing support for George ranking as one of their primary motivations.
“No one is pulling out,” one source told ESPN.com this past weekend.
Added one general manager who has a player on the Team USA squad: “No one on this team wants to walk away because that would seem unfair to Paul. If there is any fallout from this injury, it may not be felt until the next time invites [for Team USA] go out.”
The next time is the more interesting question. Although, if Team USA wins the World Cup this summer (it will be them or Spain, a good team playing at home) the next time they have to form a squad would be for the 2016 Rio Olympics. A gold medal can be a big part of a legacy and for guys trying to promote their personal brand (and shoes) that is a huge international platform. As we discussed before, the Olympics may not see much attrition.
But the next World Cup or some event after that… then it gets interesting.
For now, the USA will miss George’s defense and scoring, but the USA is ridiculously deep at the guard spot and on the wing. The players will move on.
Preseason is only just getting underway and there’s already a potentially serious injury to report. In the game between the Hornets and Magic on Saturday night, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was taken to the locker room after suffering a right shoulder injury. The Hornets announced that he was then taken to an Orlando-area hospital for follow-up x-rays:
We likely won’t know more about the extent of his injury until tomorrow, but if it was serious, that would be a major loss for the Hornets. Kidd-Gilchrist is their best perimeter defender and an important piece if they hope to compete for a playoff spot this year.
CHICAGO — Derrick Rose is nearing a return to practice with the Bulls. After undergoing surgery on Wednesday to repair a fractured left orbital suffered in practice on Tuesday, Rose’s recovery is going as expected and he’s expected to rejoin the team on Wednesday.
“The follow-up [exam] went very well,” Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said after practice on Saturday. “They’ve advised him to continue to let that site heal, and they think the best way for him to do that is to stay at home at this time. We plan on him being back on Wednesday morning.”
Rose won’t be able to participate in practice for another week after that — Hoiberg said the previously announced two-week timetable for returning to basketball activities remains on schedule — but with a radically different offense, there’s a lot to learn, and just being around the team to watch practices and learn the new play sets is important.
“We’re going to actually get over there and watch some film with him today,” Hoiberg said. “Because again, like we talked about [Friday], we’ve added new sets, new things, so we’ll get him caught up by a couple of coaches going over and seeing him at his house.”
The two-week timetable puts Rose’s return to basketball activity around next Wednesday, October 14. From there, it will be a matter of getting him back into game shape before Hoiberg is comfortable playing him in games.
Hoiberg said earlier this week that he is optimistic Rose will be able to play when the Bulls kick off the regular season at home on October 27 against the Cleveland Cavaliers.