There’s been a lot of hoopla floating around now that Jorge Garbajosa has been recommended for (possible) season ending surgery. The prognosis seems to be fairly nasty, and there’s been this question floating around about just how hurt Jorge is. In some circles, it’s turned into a he said, he said situation where anyone related to Spain has given the thumbs up, while everyone on the Raptors have given a hard thumbs down.
Nevertheless, there are a lot of things to chew on in a situation like this. For one, the Raptors allowed Garbajosa to play in the FIBA tourney, in spite of what their own doctors had recommended. Although Jorge managed to contribute, there was no doubt that there was hesitation in his game as well as a tentativeness. Nevertheless, he managed to help his team get to the finals before succumbing to the Russians. Returning back with the Raptors, he played sparingly since, but managed to contribute at times, and disappear at others. It wasn’t long before he went to see a specialist to either prove or disprove the Raptors medical staff.
It’s here where I begin to have problems, especially with the Spanish media. Yes, we’re all entitled to our opinions, but the Spaniards like Pau Gasol, need to learn to shut their trap in this situation though. (This same Pau Gasol that has been frequently injured throughout his career.) The fact of the matter is, the Raptors allowed Garbo to play for a Spanish National team that had already qualified for the Olympics. By electing not to do surgery, he’s going to have to go under the knife again and while he might be out for the season, the Spanish officials will eventually have to answer to the fact that Garbo might not be at 100% for Beijing next summer as a result of the delayed surgery. I’m sure that no one has thought about that yet, but if Garbo has to miss an entire season, he’ll need to go into rehabilitation and you can bet the Raptors will look towards further assurances that Garbo is 100% before allowing him to hit the court again in any capacity.
The short sightedness of the Spanish officials in pushing Garbo to play for their national team may eventually lead to Jorge being unable for Beijing in the summer of next year. Right now, we’re already seeing the set up. The headline? “Raptors Cost Spain at Beijing Due to Unnecessary Surgery.” Mark my words, the blame will come and the conspiracy theorists will shout out that the Raptors pushed Garbajosa into unnecessary surgery because their insurance policy was about to expire. However, at some point, Jorge needs to stand up and protect this NBA team that allowed him to go ahead and do what he loves to do, possibly at a great cost to the team itself. A word or two just to insulate the Raptors and to show that his NBA career actually matters and that he may just have made a decision against those that actually had his best interests in mind.
At least, one can hope.