Paul George will miss the next six to eight weeks while recovering from a left knee scope.
Fortunately for the Oklahoma City Thunder, their season is already over, so this doesn’t impact their immediate plans. Unfortunately for them, George will still enter free agency (player option), and they still run the risk of possibly losing him.
The goods news, though? George didn’t go rogue here or anything. The decision to undergo this procedure was one made by both him and the Thunder, per ESPN.com’s Royce Young:
George is expected to miss six-to-eight weeks before returning to normal offseason activities.
George dealt with knee soreness for much of last season, sitting out a game on Dec. 29 because of it. According to a press release, “the Thunder, George and his representation collectively determined” the procedure be done by Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles, with Thunder medical personnel present.
George sent the internet into a miniature tizzy on Wednesday when he posted the following picture of himself in the hospital:
For those of you asking, I don’t know what Paul George is having done. But he’s in good spirits, it seems. pic.twitter.com/zscMW3IRKV
— Brett Dawson (@BDawsonWrites) May 9, 2018
Most people didn’t seem to know what was going on. The ones who did elected not to address the situation right away. It makes you wonder whether the Thunder even had plans to announce this procedure. They could have been waiting or hoping to keep it under wraps or something, only to have their spot blown up by George’s love for the camera.
Anyway, for all you conspiracy theorists, this latest injury thingamajig essentially means there’s no way George opts into the final year of his contract. He was never going to do that. He stands to miss out on $10 million next season by delaying a new deal. But if you thought there was a chance that maybe, possibly, perhaps he’d delay free agency to force an opt-in-and-trade, well, that’s out the window. Someone like George, who is 28 and has a murky history of injuries, needs to lock up the max-contract security while it’s still available to him.