Storyline: Chandler Parsons Injury

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Parsons finished up morning shootaround ahead of Saturday’s game against the Boston Celtics, the 32nd game in a row he won’t play in, and decided to speak for the first time about the off-court drama that’s preventing him from making a return. “The most confusing part for me is I’m healthy,” Parsons told The Commercial Appeal. “I’m medically cleared by the people I work with every single day, that are experts at this kind of stuff, so it’s frustrating to watch a team struggle and I’m sitting there on the bench healthy, dying to play.”

“It’s just been a very unorganized schedule and still, to this day, there’s no set plan of when I’m going to return to play or anything like that,” Parsons said before elaborating on why he’s so frustrated by the situation. “No communication. No nothing. I don’t think it’s from a basketball standpoint. It’s definitely not from a health standpoint. I’ve been cleared by the medical staff of our organization, and clearly it’s not about fitting. I already earned a starting spot out of training camp and have shown I can fit with the team. I think the confusion for me is there’s no communication about what’s going on and when I’m going to play.”

With Parsons, the terminology is a change after “knee soreness” and “back soreness” were the official reasons why he missed games through four through 31 this season. The change in wording comes as Parsons continues a robust workout regimen along with second-year wing Dillon Brooks, who is expected to return from a grade II MCL sprain by the end of the month. A Grizzlies offense that has scored more than 100 points just once in its last 10 games is in desperate need of an offensive boost.

Chandler Parsons, who addressed his status for the first time in two weeks, confirmed he had his knee checked out by specialists during the team’s recent west coast trip and results showed no structural damage. He’s spent the past several days working to reduce swelling and soreness in the right knee, which has twice been surgically repaired. “My knee is feeling much better than it has been, so we keep doing a little more and more in practice to hopefully get back into a game soon,” said Parsons, who experienced swelling after he played in a Dec. 27 road win against the Lakers. “That’s the weirdest thing (because) I don’t remember getting hit. It wasn’t like an instance where I got hit or fell or got kneed. So I just took it slow, got it checked out, checked off the boxes and nothing was wrong. So I’ll just continue to strengthen it and do all the proper steps forward.”
2 years ago via ESPN

A silver lining to Parsons’ latest knee surgery, the scope of his left knee: He’d have plenty of time in the offseason to work on his frame and his game, luxuries he didn’t have the past two summers when he had to focus solely on rehabbing from more serious surgeries on his right knee. “I dedicated my entire summer to my body,” Parsons says. “I can’t even really compare it to last year because it’s night and day how my body feels, the kind of shape I’m in. I’m lean. I’m playing 5-on-5, one-on-one, 2-on-2, 3-on-3. Working out five times a week. I’m doing stuff now that basically I couldn’t even do throughout the season last year. It’s completely different.”

Of course, Parsons made things worse by continuing with his life-of-the-party social media presence — including his much-chronicled All-Star jaunt to #Chancun — which gave some the impression that he wasn’t sufficiently bothered by his inability to live up to his big deal. “I did a poor job comprehending it and I was frustrated and I was cold and I was angry last year,” Parsons said. “As an athlete, as a competitor, you want to do great, you want to do special things out there, and I straight up didn’t do that last year.”

But it’s Vince Carter who may have the best handle on this. He played with Parsons in Dallas, and has been Parsons’ closest supporter on the team. “The most important thing for Chandler now, in my opinion, is getting Chandler right, whatever that means,” Carter said. “It’s not just his body, it’s his mind. The mental, when that’s broken, when that’s beat down and needs to be fixed, that’s just as bad as a knee or ankle. While he’s trying to rehab all his injuries, this is the most important thing for him. If he comes back as a confident player, everything else will take care of itself.”

Chandler Parsons done for the season

Michael Wallace: Can confirm Grizzlies small forward Chandler Parsons having meniscectomy procedure on left knee Monday, and will miss rest of season. It’ll be 3rd knee procedure for Parsons in as many years. Monday’s meniscus repair comes almost on anniversary of 3/25/16 repair of R knee. Parsons averaged 6.2 points and 2.5 rebounds in 34 games this season as he pushed through recovery challenges from issues with both knees.

Unprompted, Fizdale took a jab at Parsons critics during the middle of his post-game media scrum. Parsons might require surgery to repair a meniscus tear in his left knee, and the Grizzlies won their last two games without Parsons after losing five straight. “Slowly but surely it’s coming along,” Fizdale said with a smirk before adding: “Personally, I blame Chandler for everything that went wrong. I’m kidding because I know people are going to say crap like that.”

3 years ago via ESPN

Where is Chandler Parsons at in his recovery? Conley: Over the last two weeks he’s progressed nicely. I think he gets frustrated with not playing more minutes because he feels like his body feels that good. So that’s a great sign. And I think our management our coaching staff and training staff is doing a good job of slowly bringing him along because they understand our goals are a lot bigger than you know Jan. 10 through the 22 of them you know trying to get him to play 30 minutes a game. We need him for the long run, we need him for the playoffs, we need him healthy. So I think he’s doing great.

“Slowly but surely, we’re just bringing him along and just letting him get his sea legs under him,” said Grizzlies first-year coach David Fizdale, who has Parsons playing between 12 and 15 minutes per game and resting on the second night of back-to-back sets. “Hopefully as we move through the season and he can stay healthy, we keep extending his minutes a little more at a time. We can’t risk, for a couple games here or there, the big picture. And the big picture is going as deep as we can in this thing.”

For Parsons’ part, he has taken the self-effacing route on social media. On Dec. 2, when a fan asked him what he wanted for Christmas, Parsons offered a brutally honest response: “Healthy knees.” “Social media is their outlet to talk (expletive) and be negative,” he said. “That’s the world of sports. Obviously I want to be playing 30, 35 minutes (per game), and I expect to be by the end of the season. And I have no doubt I can get back (to peak form).”
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