After the New Orleans Pelicans announced they’d be shutting Anthony Davis down for the remainder of the season due to his need for both shoulder and knee surgery, Davis offered up a startling revelation: He’s been playing with a torn labrum in his left shoulder for three years.
You’re not reading that wrong. For three full seasons, one of which included a first-round playoff series, Davis has been taking contact, dunking, shooting and doing lots of other things that involve the use of his shoulder, with a torn labrum. The Pelicans knew about this, and they and their star player mutually decided to let Davis play through lingering pain. Davis has worn a special compression shirt under his jersey to “stabilize” his shoulder, but things have now deteriorated to the point of no return.
“They told me [the shoulder surgery] eventually has to happen,” Davis told ESPN. “Gradually, it’s been getting worse. Something we just got to take care of now.”
Here’s a look at Davis’s stats over the past three seasons:
- 2013-2014: 20.8 PPG, 10 rebounds, 2.8 blocks, 52 percent shooting
- 2014-2015: 24.4 PPG, 10.2 rebounds, 2.9 blocks, 53.5 percent shooting
- 2015-2016: 24.3 PPG, 10.3 rebounds, 2 blocks, 49 percent shooting
Think about it. Davis has been putting up eye-popping numbers with a torn labrum in one shoulder. On one hand, you could say, “Wow, what will he do when he’s completely healthy?” On the other, you might wonder why the injury wasn’t taken care of in a prior off-season so Davis could, you know, reach his full potential as a basketball player?
Davis’s surgery will force him to miss the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, and his status for the Pelicans training camp next season remains unknown.