After the Celtics were bounced from the playoffs, Kelly Olynyk stated that his shoulder was never 100 percent (obvious to all observers) and that he would consider getting surgery to repair it this offseason. The latest report regarding Olynyk's status, which came Sunday from CSNNE's A. Sherrod Blakely, is a bit confusing and potentially troubling for C's fans. Blakely wrote:
After consulting with a number of doctors both within the Celtics organization and outside of it, it has become a matter of when – not if - Kelly Olynyk will have to have surgery on his right shoulder.
But Olynyk isn't quite ready to commit to having it surgically repaired this summer, a summer in which the Canadian National team for which he is a key member, is still in the process of trying to qualify for the summer Olympics in Rio.
"If I rest it, I would definitely partake in the Olympic (qualifying tournament)," Olynyk told CSN at a fundraising event for Horizons for Homeless on Sunday. "That would be the reason to not get surgery at this point. If you rest it, it'll get better but never solve the problem. That's what we’re looking at."
Doctors have indicated to Olynyk that his recovery time from surgery on the right shoulder would be around five months.
"The doctors are saying it's kind of inevitable," Olynyk said.
The last two lines are what really jump out at me. The five-month timetable to recover means that even if Kelly underwent the surgery today, he wouldn't be healthy until mid-October--he'd miss all of training camp and some of the preseason. Chances are, Olynyk might not be back in game shape (and who knows about the status of his jump shot?) for the start of the 2016-17 regular season either.
Canada is scheduled to take part in the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in the Philippines from July 5-10. If Olynyk got the surgery after that, he'd be out until mid-December. Should Canada qualify, you'd have to think Kelly would postpone the surgery until after the Rio Olympics in August, which could put him on track to return to action in mid-January.
I can't imagine the Celtics would be OK with either of those two scenarios.
So if that's the case, does putting off the surgery now mean Kelly might wait a whole year and not have it until the summer of 2017? This is where Blakely's report is unclear. Is this simply the kind of nagging injury that Olynyk can easily play through, but in order to be completely pain-free he'll eventually need to have it repaired? Or, is it more serious? Is it something that will continue to keep him from being 100 percent until he has it fixed? Here's more of what K.O. said Sunday, also via Blakely:
I'm still looking at it. Probably make a decision sooner than later because the recovery is so long if you do get it. It's hard to give up, Olympics, but when you do look at it, if you get hurt it's even worse to give up the next season. It's a tough decision.
Here's my take: Kelly knows he needs to get this done, and he most likely will in the very near future. However, he's delaying the decision as long as possible because giving up his dream of playing in the Olympics is not an easy thing to do. We're not talking about an American superstar like LeBron James, for whom Olympic hoops is an afterthought. I'm sure the chance to represent Canada in basketball is a huge deal for Olynyk and an opportunity that's extremely difficult to let go of.
Follow Mark Van Deusen on Twitter @LucidSportsFan
Mark Van Deusen 5/16/2016 02:30:00 PM Tweet Edit