The Suns announced today that point guard Eric Bledsoe underwent successful surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee and he will miss the remainder of the season as a result. Initial reports predicted Bledsoe would be out of action for about six weeks, though that timetable may have been reflective of the team’s hope that Bledsoe’s surgery would remove the meniscus, which usually entails a shorter recovery time, rather than make an attempt to repair it, though that is merely my speculation.
Bledsoe, now in his sixth year in the league, was enjoying the best season of his career prior to suffering the injury. His 20.4 points, 6.1 assists and 2.0 steals per game are either tied with or exceed career highs. His absence is certainly a blow to the 12-21 team, and it could hasten the front office in pressing the reset button on its current rebuild. The Suns are eligible to apply for a disabled player exception with the loss of Bledsoe, which would be valued at $5.464MM, notes former NBA executive Bobby Marks (Twitter link). The team is not currently eligible to apply for a hardship exception, however.
The 26-year-old is in the second season of the five-year, $70MM deal he inked in 2014. This is now the second major knee injury that Bledsoe has suffered since arriving in Phoenix, with the point guard limited to just 43 games during the 2013/14 campaign, courtesy of a torn right meniscus. With Phoenix still owing the player $43.5MM over the next three seasons, the organization is certainly crossing its fingers that he can return to form.