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Archive for Friday, October 3, 2003

Sonics’ Collison may need surgery

October 3, 2003

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— Nick Collison, who never missed a game at Kansas University because of injury, might miss a bundle his rookie season in the NBA.

Collison, a 6-foot-9 forward and No. 1 draft pick of Seattle's SuperSonics, is in New York today for a second opinion on the injured left shoulder he hurt in Tuesday morning's practice session.

Collison's dad, Dave, told the Seattle Times Thursday that his son was strongly considering surgery on the shoulder.

His son suffered a shoulder subluxation, which is a partial dislocation of the joint.

Sonics player Rashard Lewis told the Times that Collison told him his shoulder popped in and out on its own three to four times in Sonics' minicamp.

Lewis told the paper that he believed Collison should have surgery to repair the shoulder. Surgery would keep Collison off the court up to eight months.

On Wednesday, coach Nate McMillan attempted to lighten the somber mood that permeated his postpractice interview by insisting that many of his five injured Sonics could play if it were absolutely necessary.

However, when the subject turned to Collison, the coach chose his words carefully.

"There's a concern about Nick and his situation," McMillan said. "He may be out for a period of time."

Results from a magnetic-resonance-imaging scan (MRI) that Collison had Tuesday night revealed that Collison suffered a shoulder subluxation. Had Collison dislocated his shoulder, he would have needed assistance to place the joint in its normal position.

General manager Rick Sund said Wednesday Collison's shoulder "popped out and popped in on its own."

The difference is significant, however. Collison will undergo a second examination today before the team decides how it will treat the injury.

Collison's options include rest, rehabilitation or surgery. If the latter were chosen, then he would likely miss the entire season.

"It's too early to comment on anything like that," Sund said.

Four days ago, the 12th overall draft pick from KU spoke about competing for a starting spot.

"This is the time to learn and make good impressions with the coaching staff," he said. "With all the guys being here, I just want to show that I'm somebody who's going to work hard every day."

A year ago, Lewis aggravated a shoulder injury and contemplated surgery before deciding to rest and strengthen the joint with exercise.

Lewis said he played with some discomfort for the entire season, but was able to start 77 games and average 18.1 points and 6.5 rebounds.

"I don't want to say Rashard's (injury) is that or Nick's is this," Sund said. "But Rashard's was not real severe. In Rashard's case (after reviewing) the MRI, the decision was if he could strengthen it, he would have a minor risk of subluxing it again. With Nick, we haven't made any of those decisions yet."

Collison has no history of shoulder problems, and during his four-year career at Kansas he never missed a game because of injury, and skipped just one practice because of a tailbone injury.

In fact, the team is unsure how Collison injured himself during the four-on-four drill. Players said he was attempting to retrieve a loose ball. Collison will not comment until he receives a second opinion and considers his options.

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