Brandon Roy Must Re-Think Comeback Attempt After Latest Knee Surgery

Dan Favale@@danfavaleFeatured ColumnistNovember 19, 2012

Brandon Roy was supposed to help propel the Minnesota Timberwolves to prominence. Instead, though, they've become a postseason contender in spite of him.

And that's not going to change.

According to Jason Quick of The Oregonian, Roy is scheduled to undergo the fifth arthroscopic knee surgery of his professional career:

The much-anticipated return of Brandon Roy to the Rose Garden will not happen this week after the Minnesota guard and former Trail Blazers legend has scheduled a right knee surgery for this week, The Oregonian has learned.

The arthroscopy will be the seventh of his career, dating back to high school, and the fifth since he has been a professional. It is unknown how long Roy will be sidelined. 

More troubling than Roy's inability to make a return to the Rose Garden is the non-existent timetable behind his return. Though he is only 28 and a former All-Star, he was forced to retire in 2011 because of this very issue.

Now, after a disappointing start to the season and yet another surgery under his belt, it's finally time for Roy to reconsider his comeback.

Yes, it was inspiring to see Roy return to the floor for Minnesota, but if we're honest, his most recent stint has been utterly painful to watch.

Thus far, the sharp-shooting guard is shooting a career worst 31.8 percent from the field and scored in double-figures just once in five appearances. Even more unsettling is that Roy—who is shooting 45.9 percent from beyond the arc for his career—has yet to make a three-pointer this season.

That's a problem, and a big one at that.

Understandably, Roy was going to struggle upon his return. He hadn't seen the light of an NBA game in over a year and, well, there were his knees to consider.

But this is no longer a case of just getting his "legs back." It's a matter of turning back the clock while operating on a set of knees that don't have the strength to do so.

How is he supposed to succeed under such circumstances? How is he supposed to help the Timberwolves become a contender when not only is he not healthy enough, but when he has been unable to score? 

The optimist in Roy—and us, for that matter—will want to believe that he still has time, that he can still make this a successful comeback. Yet reality is dictating otherwise.

Roy has appeared in just five games, and he has played in 30 or more minutes in just one of those contests. Despite being used so sparingly, though, he still needs to have another surgery. If that's not foreboding, then I don't know what is.

And while it's obviously easier for me, easier for us to sit here and tell Roy to re-think his attempt at redemption, we all must understand that conceding to what appears to be inevitable does not constitute failure on Roy's behalf.

The once high-scoring guard was never supposed to return to All-Star form. Even though he is still on the right side of 30, regaining his status as a cornerstone seemed impossible even under the most favorable of circumstances.

No, what we wanted to see from Roy was that he was still healthy enough to play, that he could be the type of difference-maker he wanted to be

But he can't. His knees won't let him. 

Subsequently, it's time for him to admit what he attempted to cope with over a year ago—his days playing at an NBA level are over.

This isn't about saving his career. We—including Roy himself—already thought it was over. Instead, this is about preserving his health and about leaving the game while we still remember the player he was.

We still remember him as a three-time All-Star. We can still see him as an offensive force with a lifetime average of over 18 points per game. We haven't forgotten about the dominant athlete he was once was.

The problem now, though, is he's no longer that person, no longer that same athlete.

And the longer it takes for him to realize that he'll never be that player again, the less likely it is that we remember him as we should—as what he once was.

Not what he has become.



All stats in this article are accurate as of 11/19/12.