The Mavericks announced Friday afternoon that second-year guard Jalen Brunson underwent shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder.
A report from ESPN’s Tim MacMahon a few weeks ago indicated that Brunson was going to delay surgery until the off-season and return to play to close out the season with treatment.
Although the NBA has only officially said the suspension is for the next 30 days, the stoppage of play due to the spread of COVID-19 will likely last much longer than that. Brunson electing to get surgery now is just another indicator on top of the piles of news reports and health experts urging social distancing to combat the spread of the virus.
Paul George of the Los Angeles Clippers underwent the same surgery in June of last year, although we do not know the severity of his compared to Brunson’s. For reference, George did not return to game action until Nov. 14, five months after the surgery in June. Apply a similar timetable to Brunson and that would date his return sometime in August, barring his injury being less severe than George’s. So that gives you a good idea of when, if ever, the NBA plans to resume the season if Brunson was comfortable getting the surgery now.
The Dallas Morning News’ Callie Caplan posted this recovery timeline from John Hopkins’ website:
A neutral recovery timeline estimation from Johns Hopkins’ website: pic.twitter.com/GYpnvuF2g4— Callie Caplan (@CallieCaplan) March 13, 2020
Either way, if you were for some reason hopeful the Mavericks would return sometime in April, consider this news a reality check. Everyone stay safe and smart.
UPDATE: Rick Carlisle announced in an interview on ESPN 103.3 that Brunson will miss the remainder of the season and ideally be ready for next season’s training camp.