Eric Bledsoe (knee) could sit out rest of season
Bledsoe got off to a fantastic start, looking like he'd receive some monster contract offers at the end of the season. The University of Kentucky alumnus was putting up career-best numbers across the board - 18.0 points on 48.6% shooting, 5.8 assists, 4.3 rebounds, and 1.5 steals. His breakout campaign, however, came to an abrupt halt when he tore his right meniscus for the second time since 2011.
Opting to get the meniscus removed due to his recurring problems with the ligament, Bledsoe was given a much shorter timetable than if he had gotten the ligament repaired. The typical timetable for a meniscus removal is about 4-6 weeks. Bledsoe, however, is in a unique situation.
With a history of problems with his right knee, Bledsoe is wisely taking his time with his rehab in an effort to avoid a subsequent injury as soon as he takes the floor again (a la Derrick Rose). However, he may not simply take a little longer than the typical 4-6 week timetable - he may shut things down for the season.
Speaking to RealGM on Friday, Bledsoe said that "rehab is going great," but also that he is "still doing the basics, not doing too much." Another one of his quotes sounded particularly discouraging. "I just got to keep rehabbing and keep staying with the program," Bledsoe said. "If it's possible, I'll be back, but for the most part I'm going to take it one day at a time."
The phrase "if it's possible, I'll be back" is what has me a little weary of Bledsoe's possible return this season. Other quotes from Bledsoe include "when and if I do get back," which doesn't sound all that confident on his part, either.
Bledsoe, as I have said, is in a contract year, and another knee injury could seriously diminish his value when looking for a new deal over the offseason. Sitting out the rest of the season wouldn't be the best way to boost Bledsoe's stock as a free agent, but it does eliminate the risk of another knee injury. Of course, it has been just over three weeks since Bledsoe suffered the injury, so he could still ramp up rehab and come back within or slightly outside of the typical timetable for his injury, though that seems unlikely.
It's a shame to see Bledsoe hit the shelf so briefly into his first opportunity as an NBA starter. He is worth stashing in fantasy leagues, as he was dominating before his injury.