MONDAY, 12:37pm: Beverley will be back this season and won’t undergo surgery, Wojnarowski reports.
SUNDAY, 1:47pm: There’s a possibility that Beverley will not need surgery, and he might be able to return as early as the first-round of the postseason, reports Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle (h/t to Zach Harper of CBSSports.com). Beverley says he feels “pretty good” and believes he’ll return this season “for sure.” He’ll see Dr. James Andrews on Monday and make a decision after their visit.
FRIDAY: Rockets point guard Patrick Beverley is likely done for the season with a torn meniscus in his right knee, writes Sam Amick of USA Today. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports originally reported the injury, noting that Beverley will seek a second opinion in hopes that he can rehab and return at some point before the end of Houston’s playoff run.
Amick cites the lengthy absences of Derrick Rose and Russell Westbrook, who also suffered meniscus tears, though Metta World Peace returned 12 days after undergoing surgery on his torn meniscus last season. Still, that quick recovery was something of an outlier, and the procedure World Peace underwent, in which his meniscus was removed entirely rather than repaired, can cause issues that linger over the course of a long career. Beverley, just 25 years old, might not be as willing as World Peace, then 33, to sacrifice the future for the benefit of the present.
In any case, the specter of entering the playoffs with Beverley is a tough blow for the Rockets, who’ve compiled the fourth-best record in the Western Conference thanks in no small part to the gritty, defensive-minded second-year player. He represents one of GM Daryl Morey‘s shrewdest acquisitions, as Morey picked him out of the Russian league in the middle of last season, signed him to a minimum-salary contract, and watched him quickly make his mark on the team. Beverley’s deal is non-guaranteed for next season, but it would be a shock if Morey doesn’t keep him around, regardless of the injury.
It’s too late for the team to apply for a disabled player exception, which wouldn’t have given the team much flexibility, given Beverley’s diminutive salary. The Rockets have a prorated portion of the $2.652MM room exception available to sign a free agent replacement, but it’s unlikely anyone on the market will be able to replace what Beverley has brought to the team, much less be worthy of more than the minimum salary. Rookie Isaiah Canaan figures to draw more playing time behind Jeremy Lin, who’ll no doubt become the starter, and Morey might regret trading veteran point guard Aaron Brooks to the Nuggets at the deadline for swingman Jordan Hamilton.