Microfracture surgery is in the news again. One time UK recruit Tracy McGrady, one of the NBA’s best wing players, announced on Wednesday that he will miss the rest of this season because he will undergo the procedure.
McGrady is one of a growing number of athletes that have opted for the technique, which involves surgeons creating tiny fractures in the bone beneath damaged cartilage. The fractures cause new cartilage to develop. While it’s minimally invasive, and usually takes less than 30 minutes to perform, the recovery rate has proven to be lengthy.
Just ask Amar’e Stoudemire of the Phoenix Suns. Or Greg Oden, who missed his entire rookie season with the Trailblazers. Athletes simply can’t come back as quickly from this surgery as others have from other arthroscopic procedures.
Other players, like former UK All-American Jamal Mashburn, never recover, and their careers are over.
Which brings us to Derrick Jasper. The former UK guard underwent microfracture surgery after the Wildcats were knocked out of the 2007 NCAA Tournament. Jasper had knee pain before he arrived in Lexington. The pain got so bad, that after his freshman year at UK, Jasper HAD to do something.
That something was surgery.
In a story in the Las Vegas Sun, Jasper details the events leading up to the surgery and the pain he endured while trying to recover. Many questioned whether Jasper could return during the season, given the length of time it takes to totally rehab.
The native of Paso Robles, Calif. missed just the first 10 games of the 2007-2008 season. Fans and media types were astounded, but Jasper struggled to regain the form he showed his freshman season. Maybe he came back to quickly?
In the interview
, Jasper says he regretted coming back when he did. “I definitely wish I hadn't come back and played, but I'm glad I experienced that and played throughout the season with my teammates.”
Since transferring to UNLV, Jasper has spent this season rehabbing his knee. Again. According to the UNLV trainer, Jasper has had to learn how to comfortably stand from a seated position. Jasper’s upper left leg was only 10-15 percent of its full strength, he said.
The trainer now says Jasper will have a lifetime of maintenance issues associated with the surgically repaired knee.
Incidentally, Billy Gillispie and UK medical personnel refused comment in the story. There are some who have suggested Gillispie perhaps pushed Jasper to return to the lineup.
Those are the highlights… Stay tuned.