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The game has ended and the injury updates are now rolling in. First, we have good (if not quite concrete, these being the Knicks) news regarding Tyson Chandler:
Of course, these evaluations are being made without the use of MRI/x-ray/any sort of medical technology beyond the following:
Chandler said he doesn't want the knee examined. Says he'll play tomorrow if he can get up and down the floor— Chris Herring (@HerringWSJ) March 14, 2013
Hold that thought for a second. Here's the update on Carmelo Anthony:
Melo going back to NY to get knee drained.— Marc Berman (@NYPost_Berman) March 14, 2013
Carmelo: "I was always concerned. I was just kind of being naïve...just trying to psyche myself out and say `I can do it, I can do it.' "— Howard Beck (@HowardBeckNYT) March 14, 2013
Listen, I know next to nothing about how NBA organizations function, but this seems way the hell off. Melo just played 56 minutes on a stiff, fluid-filled knee. Why? Because he's afraid of needles? Because he really wanted to play in his return to Denver? And now Tyson has the power to waive an MRI and declare himself ready for the second of a back-to-back just because he's a badass? How is this even remotely acceptable?
I mean, I respect the toughness and urge to fight through injury and I'll acknowledge again that I have no idea what goes on behind the scenes, but...what the fuck? Melo says he was being naive, but you know who isn't-- or at least shouldn't be-- naive? Doctors. The Knicks employ real doctors with medical degrees who, unless the chain of command is seriously gnarly here, have the power-- the obligation!-- to say "nuh-uh, guy. If you're scared of needles then you can nuzzle a teddy bear while we jam a crazy straw into your patella. This isn't an option."
And then with Tyson: He doesn't want his knee examined? Tough shit! Get this man in an MRI tube and make damn sure he's right before you let him back on the floor. These are grown men with autonomy over their own bodies, but they're also multi-jillion dollar investments. Coaches can tell them how to play, executives can tell them where to play, and I'm pretty sure doctors are supposed to be able to tell them when to play. At best, the proper measures are being taken behind closed doors and this is another in a long list of examples of the Knicks failing miserably to communicate with the public. At worst, they're completely fucked. Seriously, if I'm missing something about how this stuff should work, clue me in.
But yeah, I hope Tyson's right and that he's totally fine. I'm not actually that worried about him after these updates. It's more about the process. And while the Knicks are going to be hard-pressed to win in Portland without Melo, he wasn't adding much with all that juice in his knee. Flying home to get tests and drainage sounds like a wise move, and hopefully it starts him on the path to being as healthy as possible. He wasn't previously on that path, and that's pretty weird to me.