For the first three months of the season, Josh Hart looked like what the Lakers wanted and needed — a young, smart, hardworking role player who could fit next to LeBron James. From October to December, Hart shot 38.6 percent from three, had a true shooting percentage well above the league average, got to the rim, ran well and transition and was one of the guys LeBron reportedly respected most because of his work ethic and IQ. In December he averaged 9.8 points per game.
But after the first of the year, his numbers plummeted as knee pain slowed him down and impacted every aspect of his game. In January Hart shot 22 percent from three, had a true shooting percentage of 43 (well below the league average), and then in February he missed time because of that knee.
Hart also has missed the last four Laker games, and now the team has shut him down for the season following a knee procedure that will sideline him for three months, it was announced on Thursday. From the press release:
Lakers guard Josh Hart underwent a successful ultrasonic debridement procedure on
his right knee patellar tendon this morning, it was announced by the team. Hart is expected to make a full recovery and return to basketball activities in approximately 12 weeks.
If you haven’t heard of “ultrasonic debridement” it’s because it’s a relatively new procedure, but it’s growing in popularity, according to Jeff Stotts of InStreetClothes.com.
Stotts described the procedure before as “less invasive than an open debridement. In the procedure, a small surgical probe is inserted into the damaged or diseased tendon under the guidance of ultrasound imaging. Once inserted the surgeon uses ultrasonic energy to break up and remove the problematic tissue.”
Hart should be back on the court and working out in July and be fully ready for training camp next fall.