The extent of Mavericks‘ guard Tim Hardaway Jr.‘s stress reaction in his left tibia that will result in surgery sometime this summer appears to be a bit more involved than previously indicated, relays Gerry Fraley of The Dallas Morning News.
Per Fraley, Hardaway acknowledged earlier today that he actually played the entire 2018/19 campaign with a “sub-par” left leg. An earlier report on Hardaway’s injury in the wake of the Mavericks’ decision to shut the 27-year-old down for the team’s final 11 games indicated that he would no longer play the rest of this season, but did not provide any details on what caused the injury or when the injury occurred.
“I was playing through an injury basically the entire season,” said Hardaway. “I think that shows a lot about my character and how much I care for the guys in that locker room.”
Hardaway, who is expected to be fully recovered and ready to go by the beginning of training camp later this year, averaged a career-high 18.1 PPG this season, but was held to an eFG% of .474, tied for the lowest of his career. Both his assist and rebound numbers were also down from last season.
For Mavericks fans excited about what the future may bring with both Kristaps Porzingis and Luka Doncic now in the fold, the fact that Hardaway wasn’t at full strength this season may be even more reason for optimism.