Storyline: Quincy Pondexter Injury

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However, league sources familiar with the situation tell a slightly different story about Pondexter’s travails, from the Pelicans’ perspective. On one occasion, the Pelicans believed Pondexter was on the cusp of returning, only to learn his recovery had been derailed. Sources indicated doctors outside of the Pelicans’ medical staff performed all of Pondexter’s surgeries, which isn’t a rarity in the league, but it kept the team from driving some of the major decisions. The most controversial procedure came in early 2016, his second surgery on the left knee.

The Pelicans felt Pondexter was nearly ready to play, but instead he opted to undergo a procedure that had only been performed a handful of times on professional athletes and involved using cartilage from a cadaver. It “scared the team to death” a league source said about the surgery and ensured Pondexter’s hopes for playing in the 2015-16 season were dashed. While the Pelicans’ medical staff ultimately agreed to each of the surgeries, there was significant hesitation from the team’s perspective on the early 2016 procedure, because Pondexter had nearly reached the end of his rehab schedule and participated in a full practice.
9 months ago via ESPN

After being sidelined the past two seasons, Quincy Pondexter is ready to make his comeback on opening night for the Chicago Bulls, who acquired him from the New Orleans Pelicans this summer. He is finally healthy after multiple surgical procedures — and major setbacks — on his left knee. It’s been a longer journey than many people know about. While his knee problems have been public, Pondexter revealed to ESPN that his health issues were much grimmer. He was dealing with a life-threatening infection. He thought he was going to die.
9 months ago via ESPN

Pondexter traveled to New York on Jan. 1, 2017, to get his knee scoped again. But on this trip, his health suddenly began to deteriorate. While in his hotel room, he became nauseated and started breathing heavily. His temperature shot to 104. He walked to a Duane Reade pharmacy to pick up a prescription for the pain. But while waiting in line, his vision blurred, and the 6-foot-7 forward collapsed onto the floor. Customers and employees tended to the NBA veteran, giving him a chair and some water. Paramedics were called to the scene, as was his physical therapist. Pondexter was drenched in sweat. He was terrified, bewildered and in excruciating pain. He didn’t have control over his body and feared he was dying.
9 months ago via ESPN

Following the third procedure on his knee, he was hospitalized for a month. “I was getting checked on every two hours in the hospital,” he said. “I was doing three full bags of liquid antibiotics, which took close to two hours each time. There was a point where I was connected on both sides, whether it was antibiotics or IVs or all types of other medicines to keep me alive. It was pretty crazy. It’s a full day, 24 hours, around-the-clock watch over that recovery. You’re trying to eliminate an infection that’s deadly.”
9 months ago via ESPN

“Quincy looks great, physically and mentally,” said Dr. Snehal Patel, a physical therapist who treated him in New York. “I can’t predict anything, but I think he’s primed to make a great comeback in the league.” Jrue Holiday, too, is rooting for his former teammate. “Quincy is one of the hardest working teammates I’ve ever had,” Holiday said. “Being injured, I understand how hard it is to come back. I have seen Q put in the work needed on a daily basis. Through setbacks and tough times, he has been positive and still has been a great teammate, which at times can be really hard. We need more professionals like him.”

Quincy Pondexter said he knew “for a while” before he was officially shut down in January that he wouldn’t log a single minute in the 2015-16 season. Accepting it was a different story. “We tried everything. We almost tried witch doctors to try to get me back on the court,” he said Saturday with a smirk. “It didn’t really work, and we had to. We had to go under the knife again. But at the end of the day, we made a really great, conscious decision, and it’s worked out pretty well.”

Quincy Pondexter: Obviously, I’m extremely disappointed that I won’t be able to play this season. It’s been a difficult time for me personally, not being on the floor to help my teammates this season. Although I’m extremely upset, I know that it’s in my best interest to allow my knee to completely heal before returning to the court after this upcoming surgery. I want to thank my family, friends, coaches, teammates and, most importantly, all the Pelicans’ fans for their support throughout this process. Your words of encouragement have given me the strength to push through my rehab and continue to fight through this extensive road to recovery. I’m confident that I’ll come back stronger after this surgery and promise to put all of my focus and effort into returning next year in the best shape possible.
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