The Milwaukee Bucks announced late Tuesday night that Jabari Parker suffered a torn ACL when his knee buckled awkwardly in Monday night’s game against the Phoenix Suns. Per the Bucks PR Department:
Bucks forward Jabari Parker suffered a left knee injury during the third quarter of last night’s game in Phoenix. He returned to Milwaukee this afternoon to undergo an MRI that revealed a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his left knee. Parker will undergo surgery to repair the injury and is expected to miss the remainder of the 2014-15 season.
Life is cruel, cold and unfair sometimes. Parker had been putting together a very solid month of December prior to his injury. His field goal percentage for the month was roughly 61% and he’d shot better than 50% in each game en route to 14 points and four rebounds per game. Defensively he was still learning, but it was clear he was getting more and more comfortable on offense. He kept cutting to the hoop for open looks and his jump shot was falling more often.
Unfortunately, Parker won’t get the chance to continue building on his recent success. His season is done after just 738 minutes, with his averages cemented at 12.3 points and 5.5 rebounds per game on 49% shooting with a PER of 14.8.
As for the timetable on Parker’s return, it seems fairly safe to rule out summer league next July. Most players who suffer ACL tears seem to return somewhere between nine and 12 months after the injury. Each player’s body responds differently to injury, so it’s possible Parker could be ready sooner rather than later, but surely the Bucks and Parker won’t rush anything, given the important role he still plays in the future of the franchise.
In the mean time, the Bucks became about 50% less interesting this season, even if the season itself is not lost. Parker was a contributor, no doubt, but Milwaukee’s depth has been its strength. The pending returns of Ersan Ilyasova and John Henson will soften the actual on court blow that Parker’s injury delivers to the team’s chances of winning each night.