Although the Mavericks haven't officially announced it, Chandler Parsons is expected to undergo surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee that will cause him to miss the rest of the season. The team practiced in Dallas before flying out to Portland on Wednesday and said this about the looming absence of their star forward.
"It's tough news, obviously," Deron Williams said. "You lose one of your better players to something so flukey like that. We're all feeling for him, we're hurting for him. We knew it was big for him this season to be able to come back from the knee surgery and he was playing well. Potentially back-to-back playoff series not being a part of."
Rick Carlisle was more cagey about the news, referring to the Mavericks' press release sent out shortly before practiced opened for media.
"We're disappointed that he has the injury," Carlisle said. "I can't really say anything other than what's in our release about the situation."
But official or not, the players understood that Parsons likely wouldn't be back on the floor this year. Dirk Nowitzki described Parsons as "crushed" by the bad news.
"(We're) just disappointed for him because he works so hard coming back, he worked through some frustration early in the season when he was on minutes restrictions and you could see in his face he wanted to do more and more," Nowitzki said. "I think, finally, the last two, two-and-a-half months, he was playing some of the best basketball of his career. He looked good. He was pain free. He shot the ball really well. This is another little step back for him, a setback. He was pretty crushed last night, obviously. We were disappointed for him, but I think he'll be fine. This was a smaller surgery than the one he did last year. I think he'll be back to 100 percent."
Williams and Nowitzki were the last two Mavericks to leave the practice floor, with Williams working on a variety of game shots across the floor while Nowitzki worked against a defender in the post.
"I'm very disappointed for Chandler that this has happened," Carlisle said. "But we're going to make it work with the guys we have."