If you look up “shoulder impingement syndrome” and “thoracic bursitis” in some medical texts, you’ll find the two conditions are seen as similar, if not synonymous. The position of the injury is the same, the recommended treatment is the same as well: rest, physical therapy and in extreme cases, the administration of steroids and surgery.
The Nets initially identified Irving’s problem as “impingement,” but back on Christmas Eve, Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson wrote on Heavy.com that the diagnosis was thoracic bursitis, citing a source inside the Nets organization. We noted the similarities in our December 24 story on the issue.
Two days later, Kenny Atkinson, reacting to the news, said simply, “it’s not true.” Then on Saturday, Irving used both “impingement” and “bursitis” to describe his condition. That led some to suggest that the head coach hadn’t been completely truthful. On Tuesday, Atkinson tried to explain what he meant. He chalked it up to a lack of medical knowledge.
“Yeah, I mean, yes, problem is, I’m not a medical expert. That’s one of the issues,” Atkinson said before the game. “Bursitis and impingement, all that, I need to get my medical book out. My mom used to have one in the living room, I forget what it was called, but you know, yeah, we’re on the same page.
“I’m glad he was open, honest, and spoke with you guys and was transparent. I think we’re good with that as an organization.”
Of course, the organization might have been more forthcoming in the weeks after Irving first felt pain on November 4 or after he went to the bench, unable to raise his arm, 10 days later. Rather than relying on Atkinson’s lack of medical depth, they could have provided someone on either their medical or performance team. They didn’t.
As of now, of course, the team is a wait-and-see mode with Irving. He got a cortisone shot the same day the Heavy.com piece came out and is waiting to see how well it works. If not, season ending surgery looms.
- Kenny Atkinson: Nets are on same page with Kyrie Irving - Peter Botte - New York Post
- Atkinson takes blame for confusion in Kyrie’s diagnosis - Barbara Barker - Newsday
- Jared Dudley knows the Nets’ culture has to change with superstars in the fold - Stefan Bondy - New York Daily News
- Former Net Jared Dudley believes team’s focus this season should be player development - Ian Begley - SNY