Wednesday was bittersweet to say the least for the Milwaukee Bucks. They regained Khris Middleton who is one-third of their young core. During training camp he suffered a torn hamstring and was sidelined through the first 50 games. Last season he led the Bucks in scoring (18.2 ppg) and 3-point percentage (39.6%).When it was announced that he was coming back to game action for Wednesday’s game earlier this week, thoughts stirred into minds that the Bucks can get out of this slump they are in and make a necessary run for the playoffs (currently they sit 11th in the east). Fast forward to Wednesday night during their game against the Heat, they lost a different third of that core. Jabari Parker tore his ACL according to Head Coach Jason Kidd. The injury occurred about 6 minutes into the 3rd quarter. Parker drove to the basket and received minimal contact although his knee buckled. Parker fell and tried to get back up although struggled without assistance. His face was grimacing with pain the entire way heading to the locker room and it wasn’t looking as good as it was that morning for Milwaukee.
The next day after the MRI, it was confirmed the Bucks forward tore his left ACL for the 2nd time in 3 years. Usually an ACL tear takes about 12 months to fully recover from after surgery and physical therapy. Although in 2014, Parker tore his ACL was able to recover and get back into game shape within 10 1/2 months. He played 76 of 82 games in the 2015-2016 season averaging 14.1 ppg and 5.2 rpg. He showed only signs of major improvement within his production this season. Through 51 games he was averaging a career-highs 20.1 ppg and 6.1 rpg. This time around Parker’s recovery is projected to go the full 12 months as it is his second ACL repair in the same knee even if he shows major progress throughout the recovery process. The Bucks still have a chance at making the playoffs although even if they do, it is not expected that they will get far because Parker has developed himself to be one of the main pieces they need healthy to potentially become a Finals contending team. I think they should look to trade him or replace him through the draft as there has been a very short track record of athletes who overcome 2 ACL tears and return to the same level of play prior. It is sad to see this happen to a young player with an abundance of potential but hopefully he finds a way to bounce back and continuously improves.