McGary Out With Back Surgery as Draft Stock Takes a Hit (UPDATED)
Mitch McGary’s NBA Draft stock was sky-high during and after Michigan’s run to the NCAA championship game last April.
His stock was already falling this season and that was before the school announced Friday that he would undergo lower back surgery that would keep him out indefinitely. McGary will likely have the surgery on Tuesday, ESPN.com’s Jeff Goodman reported.
“My back problems have been a daily challenge ever since late August,” said McGary. “We have worked hard rehabbing the injury and I thought that everything was proceeding in the right direction until the last two weeks. I have consulted with my family, my coaches and our doctors and decided the best option now is to have surgery. This was a difficult decision to make because I want to be out there with my teammates. At the same time, I need to be healthy to give everything I can on the court and help my team.”
“We want Mitch to be 100 percent healthy again,” said head coach John Beilein. “He has worked very hard over the last few months and during his earlier rehab. He was making progress in practice and games; however, lately he began to experience the same pain he had when we held him out of preseason practice this fall. Our first priority is Mitch’s overall health even though I am certain he would rather be back on the court right now.”
McGary has appeared in eight games this season, averaging 9.5 points and 8.3 rebounds per game.
DraftExpress.com currently lists him as the No. 21 pick in 2014, but there’s no telling how this development will impact his future.
“Another case of a guy who should have left school when his draft stock was peaking,” one NBA executive told SNY.tv.
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.