After an unexpected slow start, the Indiana Pacers’ woes continue with the announcement that forward Danny Granger will likely be out 3 months with patellar tendinosis. Granger has been dealing with this injury since last year’s playoffs with little improvement.
Patellar tendinosis refers to chronic pain coming from the patellar tendon, which sits just below the kneecap and holds it in place. Tendinosis tends to cause pain without inflammation, which is problematic because without inflammation, the body does not heal.
Granger could have potentially elected to play through the pain this season. However, with constant pain, he likely would not have the production the Pacers are looking for from a leading scorer on a team that wants to be playing come June. The injuries are very different, but we saw this last season with Chicago Bulls’ forward Luol Deng. He elected to play through a torn ligament in his wrist, and we saw his shooting percentage drop from 49.1% in December to 39.8% in February as he adjusted to the pain of the torn ligament. His shooting percentage stayed right around 40% for the rest of the season as the ligament was never repaired.
There are several ways doctors treat patellar tendinosis today. Granger received an injection of platelet rich plasma back in September and a second injection on Tuesday, Nov. 6th. This injection, which is derived from Granger’s own blood, contains natural nutrients and proteins, which promote healing. Because there is no inflammation in tendonosis, this injection is an effective way of delivering the body’s healing factors directly to the injured area.
The problem with this treatment is that it can take up to 6 months and multiple injections before the healing is noticed. This would sideline Granger for much of the regular season. There is also a possibility that the treatment does not work. If it fails, the Pacers’ medical team will have to explore other treatment options, which can vary greatly depending on Granger’s progress. Will Granger get better this season? At playoff time? Ever? We’ll have to wait and see.