In the midst of a six-game losing streak already filled with frustration, there’s new uncertainty about Joe Harris and his ankle rehab.
Brian Lewis of the Post quotes Harris’ agent, Mark Bartlestein of Priority Sports, as saying the Nets guard may need a second surgery. Harris has been out since November 4 and underwent surgery at the Hospital for Special Surgery on November 29. Then, the prognosis was four to eight weeks.
“We’re just evaluating. He’s working his way back, he’s rehabbing. But we’re just trying to figure out what’s going to be the best course of action. We have to come to that decision,” Bartelstein told The Post. “So I can’t really give you a definitive answer, because we just don’t have it yet of what we’re going to do.
“So it’s possible that there could be one more procedure he could do that would fix the ankle once and for good. But we’re not sure if we need that or not. So the long-term prognosis is great, it’s not gonna be a problem; but it’s just do we need to do something additional right now or not, and we’re just trying to figure that out.”
The Nets and Harris will make the decision in a week or two, said Bartlestein.
“We’re just constantly kind of evaluating it. He’s trying to work back and working really hard at it, and we’re just trying to figure it out,” Bartelstein told Lewis. “It’s just it’s either his ankle is going to respond and he’ll be able to play right now, or there might be one little more procedure we need to do just to get it completely right. And we’re just trying to figure that out.
“I think in the next week or so we’ll have a better feeling of what we’re going to do.”
Later, Adrian Wojnarowski confirmed the news, describing the issue a “little bone particle.”
On Friday, the Nets made Harris available to the media and not surprisingly he echoed his agent’s take. He admitted he doesn’t know when he’ll return and that while he doesn’t want to have another procedure with the requisite weeks-long rehab, he couldn’t rule it out. And yes, he admitted to being impatient during his rehab, blaming that more than anything for his extended time away from the court.
On his The Lowe Post podcast earlier Thursday, ESPN’s Zach Lowe also spoke about Harris, hinting that his situation has become “really worrisome” and it’s not “a given” he’ll be returning this season.
“The Joe Harris situation has become really worrisome. I don’t think it’s a given that he’s coming back this year, and definitely don’t think it’s a given he’s coming back at 100 percent,” said Lowe in a trade deadline run-up with Tim Bontemps and Bobby Marks.
Harris, who underwent successful arthroscopic surgery on his left ankle that involved the removal of a loose body, suffered a setback with “some flare ups” in his rehab, Steve Nash . explained in an update on January 23.
“He’s had some flareups,” Nash said. “I’m reluctant to talk about it because I’m not a doctor, so I don’t want to say the wrong thing. But he’s had some flareups, little setbacks here and there. He’s continuing to stay positive and work on his rehab and try to overcome it.”
Harris hasn’t played since November 4 and underwent surgery on November 29 with a prognosis that he could be back in four to eight weeks, with some optimism that he could return closer to four weeks. Now, whatever the setback entailed, there’s no timetable and the recovery and rehab has already extended to nine weeks.
Attempts to get comments from the Nets on Lowe’s comment have yet to be fruitful.
The extended absence of Harris, who has been one of the most durable Nets since arriving in Brooklyn, has decidedly affected the slump-filled Nets. The 30-year-old is one of three key players (Kevin Durant and LaMarcus Aldridge) who are expected to not return before the All-Star break which begins February 17.
Meanwhile, in his post-game comments Wednesday night, James Harden pointed out that The Beard’s hand strain, not further described, has been giving him trouble for weeks and will need to be addressed on a continuing basis.
Harden said he woke up Saturday morning unable to move his hand following some lifting on Friday.
- Nets could be facing another Joe Harris ankle surgery blow - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- Brooklyn Nets’ Joe Harris might need second surgery on left ankle, agent says - Adrian Wojnarowski - ESPN