New Orleans Guard Chris Paul To Undergo Knee Surgery
The New Orleans Hornets got some good news regarding injured point guard Chris Paul on Wednesday. Paul will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his left knee on Thursday, and the diagnosis is favorable for a return before the playoffs. Paul suffered a partially torn meniscus in a game against Golden State last week. Preliminary diagnoses suggested that he’d be out of action one to two months, with some concern that he would not return to action this year.
Paul will have surgery in Pensacola, Florida with Dr. James Andrews of Birmingham, Alabama performing the procedure. Andrews is considered among the best in the world at treating sports related injuries, and is considered especially effective at treating knee and ligament injuries. Andrews has worked on a ‘who’s who’ of professional athletes from pro wrestler Ric Flair to New England Patriots’ QB Tom Brady.
Hornets’ coach and GM Jeff Bower sounded relatively upbeat in discussing Paul’s procedure on Wednesday:
“We are anticipating a very successful process. We look forward to his return to action at some point later on. The time frame will be determined after the surgery. I won’t speculate on that.Obviously you never want to be in this position to replace a guard like Chris Paul in the middle of the season. We want to continue to take advantage of the talent and skills that Darren [Collison] and Marcus [Thornton] have shown over the course of this season. We’re encouraged with the play of our current group and will continue to monitor that. We feel confident in their capabilities.”
Paul originally hurt his knee in a game against Golden State last Wednesday and then re-injured it on Friday night against the Chicago Bulls. He sat out Saturday’s game against Memphis. Paul averages a team-high 20.4 points and an NBA-best 11.2 assists. Darren Collison has taken over his spot in the starting lineup and has played well, including a Hornets’ rookie record 18 assists to go along with 17 points in a win over Memphis this past weekend. After the victory, Collison stressed the importance of maintaining team continuity:
“It’s nothing I haven’t seen before. We’ve been jelling with Chris, and without him I don’t think it’s going to stop us.”
New Orleans lost to Phoenix on Monday night but will play five of their next 7 games at home. It’s not a particularly easy schedule, however, with visits from improving Oklahoma City as well as Boston and Utah. The two road games are against NBA East playoff bound teams in Charlotte and Orlando, so the Hornets will have the mettle of Collison and the rest of the team tested early in Paul’s absence.
Ross Everett is a freelance sports writer and respected authority on NFL football betting. His writing has appeared on a variety of sports sites including sportsbooks and sportsbook directory sites. He lives in Las Vegas, Nevada with three Jack Russell Terriers and an emu. He is currently working on an autobiography of former energy secretary Donald Hodell.