Lopez optimistic, but history says recovery will be no slam dunk

New York Post—February 8, 2014

One year ago, Brook Lopez was a first-time All-Star for the Nets, recently signed to a four-year, $60 million contract.

But now, one week away from the NBA’s annual All-Star bash, Lopez is recuperating from his fourth surgical procedure on his right foot.

Lopez underwent surgery again in January. Doctors reconstructed his foot to re-distribute the weight and the pounding he sustains. There are absolutely no guarantees but Lopez is stridently optimistic.

“It’s going to work,” Lopez said this week in his first public comments since his Jan. 4 operation. “I’m definitely thinking that way. Some people say, ‘If this doesn’t work …’ I won’t think that. I’m definitely thinking the other way.”

So are surgeons and the Nets, despite Lopez’s history. Lopez broke his foot in December of the 2011-12 lockout season. He returned, played five games and sprained his ankle. Doctors discovered a hairline crack near the screw from his first surgery. Another procedure followed, then another to replace the screw.

So forgive those who harbor pessimism after Lopez broke his foot again Dec. 20. But there is legitimate hope this is not a last call.

“You always come up with another plan to get him to heal. But this is the best option for now,” said Dr. Jonathan Deland, the co-chief of the Foot and Ankle Service at Hospital for Special Surgery. “It’s not like if it doesn’t, you could never get it to heal. It would mean it’s a tougher case. So you put everything into getting this one to heal.”

Read the full story at nypost.com.

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