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Saturday, April 20, 2024

Haliburton isn’t healthy so why push the envelope?

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Danny Bridges
Danny Bridges

It’s easy to second guess people, even when they are smarter than you by virtue of training and experience. That being said, the Indiana Pacers have a world class medical staff and all the necessary resources to improve a player’s overall physical condition provided they follow their protocol and allow a process pursuant to the clinical pathway required for healing to entirely unfold slowly.

When Tyrese Haliburton strained his hamstring on January 8, the talented point guard began a process of rehabilitation and was slated to miss two weeks of play and then undergo a reevaluation of his injury. On January 24 during a road tilt against the Portland Trailblazers, Haliburton played effectively and then, however, was declared unable to play further as the Pacers training staff had concerns about the way in which his injury responded to the minutes he accrued in his return to play. 

With that in mind, the team announced he would miss the contest against the Denver Nuggets and the next two games following that home tilt, thereby allowing for more treatment and rehabilitation. Now again, as someone who possesses not one of the many advance degrees and certifications that the outstanding medical and training staff of the Pacers hold, I have just one question and that’s who is deciding when this young man is ready to play and how much did the Pacers current struggles without him impact the decision for his return to action? 

Is the ultra-talented Haliburton overly anxious to return and convincing the aforementioned equally talented medical staff he’s ready to go in a premature fashion, and is the injury itself somewhat more serious than what has been portrayed to date?

These are legitimate questions pertaining to their meal ticket, and so far, the company line is a relatively standard one, denoting that it can be normal in terms of how this type of injury responds and the initial strain has not been aggravated further by the thirty-five minutes Haliburton played recently in the Portland game.

When a player performs well post injury, it’s easy to remain optimistic and to certainly assume one is turning the corner in terms of a total recovery.

It’s also easy to ask why he played that many minutes in his first game back and why a pitch count of sorts didn’t prevail. 

Before you say it’s just a hamstring strain, remember that these types of injuries can reoccur and maintain a nagging aspect which of course results in more missed games for their leader.

The solution seems just as simple as keeping him in street clothes and on the bench until he heals. If this is truly the guy you’re placing your bets on to help take the franchise to the next level, then it seems logical to be overly cautious about it.

Competitive athletes will do anything to perform, and sometimes the reins must be pulled in. I’m not insinuating the injury is worse than reported but transparency in professional sports in terms of injury status has been a joke for decades. 

The Pacers clearly have Haliburton’s best interests in mind, but it’s okay to be selfish and place their own right next to his.

There’s a ton of guaranteed money kicking in for their affable floor general, and it may be time to get used to playing without him for a greater period than they may of expected to insure his long-term success. Don’t let a player determine when he’s ready to return when you’ve got a slew of experts coordinating his care.

Forget the near future and disregard the All-Star appearance if need be. He’s the chosen one but it’s not his choice, so protect this valuable asset and sit him down for as long as it takes to heal properly. He won’t like it, and neither will the fan base, but it’s something that needs to be done and without any short cuts.

Danny Bridges, who feels Tyrese Haliburton is fortunate to have a phenomenal medical team behind him, can be reached at (317) 370-8447 or at bridgeshd@aol.com. 

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