Jabari Parker will undergo surgery for a torn ACL, and miss 12 months of action for the Milwaukee Bucks.
The worst fears of everyone with even the slightest attachment and association with the Milwaukee Bucks have been confirmed.
Third year forward Jabari Parker suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee on Wednesday night against the Miami Heat, is facing surgery, and will be out for at least 12 months as he rehabilitates.
The injury is a repeat of the one Parker sustained as a rookie in a December 2014 game against the Phoenix Suns.
The news was first reported by ESPN’s Zach Lowe on Twitter.
Almost immediately after Lowe’s tweet, the Bucks released a short statement on the team’s website that reads as follows:
“Bucks forward Jabari Parker suffered a left knee injury during the third quarter of last night’s game vs. Miami at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. This morning, Parker underwent an MRI that revealed a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his left knee. Parker will undergo surgery to repair the injury and will miss the remainder of the 2016-17 season. The recovery and rehabilitation period is estimated at 12 months.”
Bucks head coach Jason Kidd also spoke about the injury at the team’s practice at the Cousins Center.
For the Bucks, this leaves what was a blindingly bright future suddenly looking a little more uncertain.
In the short term, with a record of 22-29 it seems as if the Bucks can say goodbye to any chance of making the postseason this year without Parker.
There was a cruel irony in the fact that Parker would suffer this injury on the same night that Khris Middleton returned from the injury that had kept him out for the season to date, but now Milwaukee’s priority has to be to regroup and to continue to take great care as Middleton works his way back to full game shape.
Once equivalent to a death sentence for an athlete’s career, ACL tears still remain one of the most dreaded injuries in sport, although improvements in rehabilitation and athletic conditioning mean that it is no longer impossible to reach previous performance levels after recovery.
Parker, himself, would have been one of the brightest examples of that, having not only returned to look possibly even more athletic than he had pre-injury, but also having done so ahead of schedule. After his first tear, Parker returned to play for the Bucks in under 11 months.
A second tear may have a longer lasting impact and present different challenges, but the time for addressing those concerns will come later.
For now, the focus should be on Jabari. Beyond the obvious magnitude of what his loss means to the Bucks’ present and future, it’s important not to overlook what it will mean to Parker as a person. This is a strong, intelligent and hard-working young man who has lived his life to get to this point. Jabari Parker has been living his dream, and now for the second time in three years he’s been presented with a monumental challenge.
Not just for the sake of the team, but also for Jabari as a man, we can only send best wishes his way and hope he can defy science again with another complete and speedy recovery.
Stick with us at Behind the Buck Pass for more reaction to the news.