Report: No surgery for Eric Gordon
Gordon, according to the report, plans to rely on rehab and strengthening work to get back on the floor after being listed by the team earlier this week as out indefinitely.
ESPN.com's Chris Broussard and Marc Stein reported earlier Friday that -- while no firm decisions had been made about how to treat Gordon's troublesome right knee -- microfracture surgery had been presented as one of a number of potential remedies, according to sources with knowledge of the situation.
It has been very frustrating not to be able to play. I only played nine games last year and I haven't played any games this year. I didn't play in any preseason games. It has been very frustrating watching the guys play and not being a part of it. I know from a fans' perspective that it is very frustrating for them, but as a player it is most frustrating for me and this organization.” -- Eric Gordon on knee injury
The Hornets were scheduled to continue gathering information on Gordon's situation through the weekend to try to pinpoint a definitive course of action -- whether that's a revamped rehabilitation program as opposed to a surgical procedure -- after their highest-paid player was shelved indefinitely.
Gordon missed all but nine games last season due to the knee problems but still received a four-year, $58 million maximum offer sheet from the Phoenix Suns in July as a restricted free agent. The Hornets matched the offer and held out hope all month that Gordon would be ready to play by opening night, only for Hornets coach Monty Williams to announce earlier this week that Gordon would need more time off.
In a visit with local reporters Thursday, Gordon acknowledged that there has been "a little bit of a setback as far as this injury" since he publicly addressed his health in September. Gordon last played full-speed basketball without restrictions in July in an unsuccessful audition for Team USA in Las Vegas.
"Nothing structural," Gordon said of the injury. "There has been a little bit of soreness and swelling. I'm always listening to the doctors and they've told me there is swelling, but obviously I can tell myself that there has been a little bit of swelling.
"That's why I'm not playing. The past few days I have been practicing because I thought it was something I could deal with pain-wise. I went to the organization the other day and told them that it was not feeling good. It is very painful."
Gordon expressed hope that a timetable for treatment would be finalized this weekend, but it remains unclear whether surgery will be needed or if further rest and rehabilitation will prove sufficient.
The idea of microfracture surgery was broached with Gordon last season, sources told ESPN.com, but Gordon was resistant to such serious surgery heading into his free-agent summer. Gordon, 23, did end up having arthroscopic surgery -- a lesser procedure -- in February.
Concerns about the knee prompted the Hornets to let Gordon become a restricted free agent, but New Orleans ultimately decided to match the Suns' offer sheet despite Gordon's public pleas to be set free so he could join Phoenix.
Gordon is a big part of the Hornets' plans not only because of his new contract but because he's the primary player New Orleans received from the Los Angeles Clippers in December's Chris Paul trade. He's projected as one of New Orleans' prime complements to new franchise player Anthony Davis, who was selected with the No. 1 overall pick in June.
"It has been very frustrating not to be able to play," Gordon said Thursday. "I only played nine games last year and I haven't played any games this year. I didn't play in any preseason games. It has been very frustrating watching the guys play and not being a part of it. I know from a fans' perspective that it is very frustrating for them, but as a player it is most frustrating for me and this organization.
"I know it's tough, but it's very hard on me. This is an injury that I have battled with and it's frustrating, because this is a great city and a great organization and I definitely want to be a part of it. Being a part of it for me is being out there playing. The reason I'm not playing is because of this injury."
Information from ESPN.com's Chris Broussard and Marc Stein was used in this report.
MORE NBA HEADLINES
- Sources: Bulls join Cavs in Love trade push
- Clips CEO: Doc wants out if Sterling stays
- Ex-Baylor star Austin: NBA offered job too
- Sterling sues NBA, wife, others for damages