The New Orleans Pelicans announced yesterday that Anthony Davis will miss the remainder of the season, and will have surgeries to repair an injured knee and a torn labrum in his shoulder. During a session with reporters today, Davis revealed that he’s been playing with the torn labrum for three years now. He went on to explain what it was like to deal with the injury every day:
It comes and goes. You wake up, and just because it’s raining, it’s gonna start hurting. It’s just any situation, it can start hurting. Especially when you get hit on it, or it gets pulled back a certain way—it starts hurting. It can just pop up at any time, just randomly. Not because you did something to it, but because it’s there. There’s days when I wake up and I feel fine, and then a week later, it’s kind of stiff.
Davis also said that he’s only getting the labrum repaired now because he has to get surgery on his knee anyway, so he might as well take care of both of them at the same time. It’s more than a little strange that the Pelicans let him play with a messed-up shoulder for this long, but I suppose late is better than never.
You wouldn’t really know it just by looking at his numbers—24 points, 10 rebounds, and two blocks per game—but this has been something of a nightmare season for Davis. This was the year he and the Pelicans were supposed to seize a place among the Western Conference’s elite teams, but the injuries have come in waves and the Pellies are currently 26-43. As for Davis, shutdown may very well cost him a place on an All-NBA team and $23 million bonus. This will also mark the fourth straight year that he has been unable to play more than 68 games, thus bringing him that much closer to receiving the dreaded “injury-prone” descriptor in all future articles about him.
Hopefully Davis’s surgeries will go off without a hitch and he’ll return next year as an improved version of himself. The good news is that he just turned 23, and is still one of the few players in the league capable of pulling the spotlight away from Steph Curry. If Davis can put up the kind of numbers he has over the last three seasons with a torn labrum, I can’t wait to see what will happen if he’s completely healthy and we get 82 games out of him.