In what will surely be a huge blow to the Indiana Pacers moving forward, all-star forward Danny Granger will be out of action for the next three months after undergoing a procedure on his left knee, the team announced earlier today.
Granger received an injection on Tuesday to treat left patellar tendinosis (jumper’s knee), an injury he originally suffered in last years Eastern Conference semi-finals. The procedure was performed by Dr. James Andrews, a renowned orthopedic surgeon in his profession for knee, elbow, and shoulder injuries.
Patellar Tendinosis is described as being an inflammation in the patellar tendon that makes it hard to straighten the leg, which is a common injury amongst most NBA players.
The Pacers medical staff is predicting a recovery time of three months, making a possible return coincide with the NBA All-Star weekend in February.
Granger averaged 18.7 points and 5.0 rebounds in 62 games last season for the Pacers.
WHAT DOES GRANGERS INJURY MEAN FOR INDIANA?
Losing a number one scorer on offense is never going to improve a teams chances, so losing Granger for the next three months is going to hurt.
The Pacers scored nearly 109 points per 100 possessions with Granger on the court in 2011/12, compared to just 101 with him on the bench. That’s quite the difference in offensive output.
The team is also averaging just 91.0 points per game to start the year, which is 5th worst in the entire league. Last season, Indiana averaged 97.1 a game. Granger was the only player on last years roster to average more than 13.0 points.
What’s the best solution for a team who loses its star? The rest of the roster steps up its game.
David West has been the go-to guy for the Pacers through four games, averaging 16.8 points and 9.8 rebounds while shooting 45% from the field. He’s found consistency with his jump shot and he’s been more effective on the glass. He was a proven threat on offense during his days with the New Orleans Hornets, so hopefully he can keep his good play going during Grangers absence.
Indiana will need more production from two of its most important players, Paul George and all-star Roy Hibbert, who are averaging a combined 22.8 points a game. Their collective rebounding has been solid (18.3), but they will need to be more assertive on offense to help keep the Pacers in ball games.
One thing is for sure. The postseason is no longer a guarantee. That’s the cold hard truth of it all. Three months is a long time to be away from the game.
The Pacers are going to struggle. The division title and a playoff berth are now both huge question marks.
This is going be one rough stretch.
Christopher Walder is a sports blogger and lead editor for Sir Charles in Charge. You may follow him on Twitter @WalderSports