According to reports including one from AZ Central Sports, the Suns’ number fifth pick in last month’s draft underwent right ankle surgery Friday.
The #Suns say rookie Alex Len had successful surgery on his right ankle Friday; team president Lon Babby calls it a “precautionary measure.”
— azcentral sports (@azcsports) July 12, 2013
Len already has been ruled out of summer league play that starts Saturday for Phoenix due to his other ankle that had him in a protective boot back at the draft. Len wasn’t having any symptoms in that left ankle, but during a routine medical exam, the Suns training staff found what they called, the “very beginnings” of a stress fracture.
He should still be ready for the beginning of the season, so this doesn’t change any timetable, but it is intriguing.
There are two ways to look at the situation, from a non-medical stance; either the optimistic way, or the pessimistic way. I tend to be very optimistic, but both views have their points, and only time will tell.
The optimist would say, since Len is only 20 years old, he can heal from these smallish ankle surgeries (one of which was precautionary), come back and be a productive and serviceable (or better) center for the Suns for the next decade. I trust the Suns’ training staff, which is known as the best in the league.
The pessimist would say, how do these multiple ankle surgeries extrapolate into the future and on Len’s ability to stay healthy? We know many tall centers whose careers have been derailed by debilitating foot issues (Bill Walton, Yao Ming, and most recently Greg Oden). This is an ominous sign of things to come.
Obviously, it’s not a GOOD thing that Len has now had surgery on both of his ankles for such a tall guy at such a young age. However, it IS good that the training staff caught it so early and have taken care of it.