Chandler Parsons was getting around gingerly on crutches Thursday afternoon during an NBA Cares event at Bayles Elementary School in East Dallas when a reporter asked the Dallas Mavericks small forward if the surgery he underwent on his right knee on May 1 was microfracture surgery.
Parsons paused momentarily and said: “I don’t think they want me to answer if it was or not. I would love to tell you guys.”
Amar’e Stoudemire, Andrew Bogut, Chris Webber, Penny Hardaway, Jason Kidd, Kenyon Martin, Tracey McGrady and Greg Oden are a few of the current and former NBA players whose careers were heavily impacted after microfracture surgery, which is an articular cartilage repair surgical technique that works by creating tiny fractures in the underlying bone.
When Parsons had his surgery, the Mavericks issued a statement indicating that he underwent arthroscopic surgery to address a cartilage injury to his right knee. No other details were given, although Parsons appeared to shed some light Thursday on the severity of the surgery.
Parsons, who averaged 15.7 points and 4.9 rebounds in 66 games this season, suffered the injury during a hard fall March 29 against the Indiana Pacers. But he continued to play through the pain — and some swelling — until it became so unbearable that he had to sit out the final six regular-season games.
The injury also forced Parsons to miss the last four games of the Mavericks’ playoff series loss to the Houston Rockets.
For now, Parsons is going through rehab in hopes that he’ll be back in the fall in time for training camp. He plans to remain in Dallas this summer rehabbing his knee.
“Though it’s not how I figured I’d spend my summer, but I think it’ll be good,” Parsons, 26, said. “I’m working on things that I would never be able to work on before. I’m spending more time in the weight room than I’ve ever had before, so I think I’ll be back better than ever.”
Parsons, however, isn’t sure if he’ll be ready to play by training camp, because there is no specific timetable for his return.
“I have no idea right now — it’s too early to tell,” Parson said. “Obviously I wanted to play in the playoffs, and that was brutal not being able to play. But at least now I have all summer to take my time and get back to better than I was before.”
After the season ended, Parsons said he wanted to help the Mavericks in their recruitment of free agents. And he has a direct link to Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan, who becomes a free agent July 1.
Parsons and Jordan share the same agent — Dan Fegan. But it’s not clear if the Mavericks want to pursue the 26-year-old Jordan or try and re-sign their own free-agent center — 32-year-old Tyson Candler.
“Obviously we’ve got to figure out what Tyson is going to do first, and what our current players are going to do,” Parsons said. “But [Jordan is] obviously one of the top free agents that we think would help our team. I obviously have a very close relationship with him, so I have no problem reaching out to anybody that they want me to reach out to.”
In the meantime, Parsons’ situation is heightened by the fact that he left the Rockets last summer and signed a three-year, $46 million free-agent contract with the Mavericks. And ironically, the Rockets knocked the Mavericks out of the playoffs and remain in contention for the NBA title.
“The biggest thing with me is I was just kind of helpless [in the playoff series against Houston],” Parsons said. “With being hurt I couldn’t play, I couldn’t help our team win, and that was very disappointing for me because I’ve never been through anything like that either.
“I’ve never gone through a serious injury that’s kept me out, I’ve never had surgery, so this is all stuff that I’m dealing with for the first time, and it’s very frustrating. But I’m trying to stay positive and turn a negative into a positive thing and come back stronger than ever.”
Dwain Price, 817-390-7760