Carmelo Anthony’s shoulder was clearly bothering him through much of the playoffs, but he fought through it as best he could averaging 28.8 points per game (on just 40.1 percent shooting, down from 44 in the regular season) with 6.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists. He injured it in Game 5 against the Celtics and went on to have a sleeve over it throughout the Pacers series. You had to wonder how bad things were.
Turns out, things were pretty bad.
Maybe bad enough to need surgery, reports Frank Isola at the New York Daily News (something confirmed by other reports).
An MRI of Anthony’s shoulder revealed a partially torn labrum, according to a Knicks source and there is a possibility that Anthony may need surgery. The Knicks are hopeful that the injury will heal on its own and the club has told Anthony to rest for the next three to four weeks at which point he will be re-evaluated.
The labrum is a type of cartilage found in the shoulder joint and helps keep the ball in the socket of the shoulder. The tear can make it feel as if the shoulder is coming out of its socket, something Anthony reported, according to Isola.
Small tears in the labrum can heal with rest and treatment, however if surgery is needed that is at least three months before he could resume basketball activities and maybe as many as five (and both the doctors and Knicks would want to bring him along slowly).
Still, if surgery is needed, better for the Knicks to get it done in June and have Anthony back around the start of next season rather than to delay and have the cornerstone of their team out.
This is similar to what Dwight Howard tried to play through this season. Both players would seem pretty much unaffected for a few games, then one play would aggravate it and it clearly bothered them for a while. If the Knicks plan to improve on this season next year, they will need Anthony fully healthy.
This is believed to be the play when the injury occurred to Anthony’s shoulder.