After a thorough examination Wednesday by team physician Dr. T.O. Souryal, the Dallas Mavericks have determined that small forward Chandler Parsons will need season-ending right knee surgery as soon as possible.
Parsons injured his knee March 29 against the Indiana Pacers, but he played on it a few times while trying to overcome the pain and swelling.
The news that surgery is required, however, stunned a Mavs organization already reeling from the premature end to point guard Rajon Rondo’s 48-game stay in Dallas.
The team announced earlier Wednesday that Rondo will miss the rest of the season because of a back injury sustained Tuesday against the Houston Rockets.
Parsons’ grim situation could be heard in coach Rick Carlisle’s voice Wednesday.
“My understanding is that surgery is a certainty — that surgery will happen,” Carlisle said. “You never want to hear that, but at this point and time it appears to be an absolute. We just got to make sure that we, and he, explore all options to make sure that we find the best situation for his surgery.”
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Carlisle said he didn’t have any more specific information on what is structurally wrong with Parsons’ knee. He also said he didn’t know if Parsons will be ready for training camp next fall.
“I don’t think so,” Carlisle said. “That’s my opinion. We’re in April still, so I don’t think we’re talking about anything like that. Again, I’ve got to be clear. I am not at liberty to talk about specifics regarding surgery. I’m no surgeon.”
The Mavericks signed Parsons to a three-year, $46 million free-agent contract in July with high hopes that he would become one of their future prime-time players. The four-year veteran averaged 15.7 points in 33.1 minutes a game this season.
“Well, we believe he’ll make a full recovery,” Carlisle said. “In terms of his ceiling as a player, he’s gotten better each year he’s been in the league. His responsibility here increased as the season went on — it will increase next year. We feel like he has a chance to be great.”
That was the plan when the Mavericks outbid the Rockets for Parsons, who was a restricted free agent last summer.
“This is a 26-year-old kid, a part of our present, a big part of our future, who had a terrific year for us and got better and better for us as the season went on,” Carlisle said. “Any time surgery enters the equation, it’s not a good thing.
“I talked to him today. He’s extremely disappointed, but the important thing is to find the right surgical situation and get to it as quickly as possible so that he can begin his recovery as quickly and have a great summer and get ready for next year.”
Carlisle also said guard Devin Harris (great left toe) is probable for Game 3 at 6 p.m. Friday against the Rockets. The Mavericks trail the best-of-seven series 2-0.
Dwain Price, 817-390-7760