Recovery Timeline After Joe Ingles ACL Tear
Jan 31, 2022, 2:41 PM | Updated: 2:50 pm
(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
SALT LAKE CITY – Utah Jazz guard Joe Ingles suffered a torn ACL in Sunday night’s loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves.
With just over three months left to play in the regular season, and five months left in the season overall, it’s clear Ingles 2021-22 season has come to an end.
But with the guard entering free agency this summer, how quickly could he return to the floor should he decide to extend his NBA career?
— KSL Sports (@kslsports) January 31, 2022
The first issue for Ingles is determining when he will be able to get the surgery to reconstruct his torn ACL. On Monday the Jazz announced that the veteran must first regain his motion in his knee before a date for surgery can be set.
From there, Ingles can begin the rehab process as he decides how he wants to handle the rest of his professional career.
Traditionally, the recovery time for a torn ACL is 6-9 months, though age and role can both alter that timeline. Ingles is 34-years-old, which could extend the length of his rehab process, but isn’t as reliant on his raw athleticism to contribute on the floor.
For younger star players on long-term contracts, teams have shown a willingness to provide extra time to rehab the injury rather than rush them back onto the court.
That helps the players avoid reinjuring the knee while protecting the investment from the franchise.
Joe Ingles was examined Monday by the Utah Jazz medical staff and the MRI revealed a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his left knee with no other structural damage. Ingles will remain out indefinitely with surgery taking place in the coming weeks.https://t.co/lwAX3J8KUw
— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) January 31, 2022
Golden State Warriors forward Klay Thompson suffered a torn ACL in June of 2019 and opted to skip the entire 2019-20 season in hopes of returning fully healthy to open the 2020-21 season.
For a player like Ingles who is in the twilight of his career, he may not be willing to sit out all of next season before signing with a team in the summer of 2023.
Ingles will be an unrestricted free agent this summer and will turn 35 shortly before the beginning of the 2022-23 season.
If Ingles can be fully cleared within the shorter six-month window, he could still take part in normal NBA free agency and return to the floor in October when next season opens.
However, if Ingles and his team of doctors decide the rehabilitation process could take longer, the guard could opt to avoid signing with a team during the summer, and pick his next destination after the 2022-23 season begins.
There is good news for Ingles despite the injury. According to a study from Stanford researchers, NBA players have returned to the court showing few signs of a drop in production, minutes, or style of play.
Jake Scott and Ben Anderson discussed Joe Ingles injury on the Jake And Ben Show on The Zone Sports Network.
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