That’s the question that Pistons star guard Cady Cunningham is currently studying.
Cunningham, the No. 1 seed overall in 2021, has been sidelined since November 10 due to what the team said was “leg soreness.” He was due to be re-evaluated in a week’s time. It’s been over a week and Cunningham is still out with an injury. the athlete I reported last week that there is a fear that Cunningham has suffered a stress fracture in his tibia (tibia) and continues to sit as he decides between more rest to try to address the lingering problem or to have surgery, which would likely be season-ending.
Certainly, one can understand why the 21-year-old who is seen as the face of the franchise would be reluctant to sit out an entire season. He’s also a competitor. However, it is very likely that the Pistons will miss the playoffs and Cunningham’s future is more important to the organization than his attempt to play hero during a season that could be lost. However, with all that said, it’s possible that rest, the less intrusive option of the two, will do the trick. Only time will tell.
So, given Cunningham’s importance to the Pistons, his age, and Detroit’s current status in the NBA, what’s the best option?
“If he’s sick, I’ll give both options and see what he prefers,” said Deepak Chuna, MD, founder of SportsMedAnalytics. the athlete. “Given the risk-benefit ratio of the surgery, my thinking is that most of the young NBA players in his shoes will probably choose surgery.”
As per sources, Cunningham has been dealing with leg pain for quite some time now. The pain started to reappear in the pre-season and it got to a point earlier this month that he needed to take time off and address it.
Taking the path of relief has its benefits, but, like anything else, it does not guarantee that the problem will not persist in the long term. Obviously, rest is the least invasive option. However, these types of fractures do not always heal with rest alone. The rest process will put Cunningham out for four to six weeks, which he is slowly approaching, with limited ability to bear weight on his leg. He usually undergoes more imaging studies after that period to see progress. If all is well he will be able to ramp up but will probably go out another four to six weeks after that.
In the end, rest can work, but it also has a greater chance of allowing the injury to continue.
“The chances of an infection healing with surgery are higher,” said Chuna, who also realized that surgery does not guarantee a 100 percent cure. However, all surgeries carry some risks. In Cunningham’s case, that risk should be very low, but it will never be zero.”
On the flip side, the surgery will ensure that Cunningham will be out for the season. The recovery period can be as little as three months, but the average is four to six months of recovery. Even on the low side, Cunningham won’t hit the three-month mark until March, and the Pistons are currently heading into another sweepstakes season. In addition, the surgery can come with side effects such as wound infections, complications related to anesthesia, etc. Although the risk of side effects is low, the possibility still remains and it can delay the healing process further.
Cunningham’s teammate Rodney McGruder underwent stress fracture surgery on his left leg in 2017 as a member of the Miami Heat. McGruder ended up returning that season because he had the surgery in October. McGruder did not make his season debut until late February, meaning he missed the first four months of the season.
It appears that McGruder does not have any more significant issues with his shin splints after surgery.
If Cunningham skipped trying nonsurgical treatment and went straight to surgery, that would increase his chances of recovery at the expense of the risks associated with surgery. Still, a return to the court for three to four months would be realistic if the Pistons somehow find themselves in the playoff picture down the stretch of the final season.
Ultimately, with Cunningham, Detroit has the bigger picture in mind. sources say the athlete The Pistons encourage the cornerstone of their franchise to do the surgery but let him decide what he feels is best for him. Cunningham has been meeting with specialists over the past few weeks as he tries to learn more about his injury and recovery options.
He turns over every stone before making a decision.
“In the long term, the repercussions are not very worrying for Cunningham,” said Chuna. “Recurrence rates, assuming recovery goes well, are low, and these injuries are not usually associated with decreased sustained performance or durability issues.”
It’s understandable why Cunningham takes his time to decide which route he wants to take. Scary surgery. He’s a competitor who definitely feels he can help the Pistons climb out of the NBA standings vault. Nobody wants to be taken away from what they love to do. Rest, however, is no guarantee that the pain will go away and he could trouble Cunningham not only this year, but more regularly throughout his career. But, again, surgery is not a 100 percent success rate either.
It is undoubtedly a tough call, but one Cunningham will have to make in the very near future.
(Top photo credit by Cade Cunningham: Bob DeChiara-USA Today)