Scheduled for knee surgery today, guard says career in jeopardy; Rockets disagree
By JONATHAN FEIGEN
With his right knee so damaged that his doctor called it "a train wreck," Rockets point guard Bob Sura will undergo surgery today that he says could determine if he will ever play again.
Sura, a key to the Rockets' 2004-05 turnaround when he came back from offseason back surgery, underwent arthroscopic surgery in May to clean out loose particles in the knee that pained him for much of last season. But he said the knee hasn't improved.
"I'm going to undergo another knee surgery ... and don't know how it's going to respond," Sura said Wednesday. "I have some serious problems in there — arthritis and bone on bone and some cartilage damage — so I really don't know. I don't have a good answer.
"I think that (the potential end of his career) is something I'm looking in the eye right now. Some problems you have in a knee just can't be fixed. Hopefully, I'll be able to get through another season or two, but I really don't know."
Playing in knee and back pain most of last season, Sura, 32, averaged 10.3 points, 5.5 rebounds and 5.2 assists. He had hoped the knee surgery would solve the health issues; instead, he has told teammates his return is in doubt.
"He doesn't know what he's going to do," guard David Wesley said. "When you talk to him, he's not that confident he'll ever play again."
Rockets officials are considerably more optimistic that the surgery will correct the lingering problems.
"That's not the picture I get from the doctors," Rockets general manager Carroll Dawson said. "He hurt his knee last year, and we had it cleaned out this summer. It was going along pretty good, and now I think there's another tear in the back, a small tear that from what the doctors tell me we're going to have taken care of. It's a little flap (of cartilage).
"They don't think it will be more than a week as far as slowing him down. I know what a competitor he is. He gets down, but if there's anybody that can come back fast and play again, it's Bob Sura. We're optimistic. I know he's down about it, but just talking to the doctors, they sound better about it than he does."
After Sura said he would be out six to eight weeks, roughly the rehabilitation time the previous surgery required, Dawson said Sura could be cleared for full-speed work in 10 days and to play NBA games between mid-October and mid-November.
Ward weighs options
Rockets guard Charlie Ward said Wednesday he has spoken to the team about assuming another position with the franchise but that he would first try to come back as a player when training camp begins next week.
Ward played in just 14 games before missing the rest of last season after surgery on his right knee.
"I'm doing well, as well as expected," Ward said. "I'm going to prepare to try to participate and see how it goes from there. I've been doing minor court drills, but I haven't been playing. I'm not where I would be normally, but I'm much better than I was last year.
"That (a position with the team if he can't play) is to be determined. I'm proceeding with training camp and working to try to play this year."
Glover may be invited
Dion Glover, one of the stars of the Rockets' summer league team, could soon get an invitation to training camp with a chance to make it back to the NBA.
Glover, former Kentucky forward Chuck Hayes (who also played well in Minneapolis in July) and former Kansas forward Keith Langford all took physicals Wednesday and could be signed to non-guaranteed contracts in time for the start of practices Tuesday.
Glover, a 6-5 forward/guard, has averaged 8.2 points and 3.1 rebounds in six NBA seasons, including several productive years with the Atlanta Hawks.
"I think all three will be signed," general manager Carroll Dawson said. "They (Glover and Hayes) know the system and will fill in well."
Sorry if already posted
That would be a shame if Sura had to hang it up. He was a big part of the Rockettes success last year. I would like to see him healthy just to see if they truly are one of a few teams that have the capability of downing the Spurs.
I was really caught off guard when the Rockets didn't go looking for a point guard. It was obvious that not only did they not have a solid player at that position last season, they didn't have any quickness there either. I think they made good moves at other spots, but that will be a huge achilles heel for them.
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