In tandem with the Mavs’ title celebration comes the continuing piecing together of next year's team - and some concerns that for the moment, anyway, the defending champs' plans at the 2-guard are in tatters. Will Roddy B get "screwed''? And is Rudy Fernandez doing the same to Dallas? We look at the surgery news from a medical perspective … and the Rudy-to-Spain notion with a sigh ...
Rodrigue Beaubois’ foot problems began last summer while training with the French national team. He suffered a hairline fracture in the fifth metatarsal of his left foot. The metatarsals are the long bones within the foot that connect the bones of the midfoot to the bones of the toe. The fifth metatarsal sits on the outside of the foot and serves as an attachment site for several muscles. These muscles make the bone susceptible to fractures when the ankle is forced inward (a common occurrence in basketball).
The road to recovery has been anything but smooth for Roddy B. He suffered the injury and underwent surgery in August. In the procedure, a surgical pin was inserted into the bone to stabilize the area and make the area more conducive to healing. Unfortunately he suffered a setback in October when a small crack reappeared. He returned to play in 28 games but his play and confidence were clearly rattled. He suffered a sprain of the same foot in the season finale and did not log a single minute in Dallas’ deep playoff run.
In metatarsal fractures, it is all about the location of the break and the mechanism of injury. If the attaching muscle breaks off a small piece of bone, it is classified as an avulsion fraction. Occasionally as in the case of Dominique Jones, a stress fracture can develop as the result of a large workload. The most serious of the fractures is the Jones fracture (named for a British surgeon, not DoJo), which occurs when the break is located near the base of the bone. The blood flow to this area is very poor and this fracture takes a prolonged period to heal and often requires surgery to mend. The Mavericks have never publicly stated Beaubois suffered a Jones fracture but given the length of recovery, I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s precisely what happened. As mentioned before individuals who suffer Jones fractures can experience a delayed union or nonunion of the bone. Basically the two bone pieces fail to come together or take a long period of time to connect.
The team has stated the second surgery was needed to address “lingering symptoms.” Since the news broke, some have expressed concern about the insertion of a bigger screw into Beaubois’ foot. However recent studies on Jones fractures have indicated a larger screw actually is more effective than a smaller one.
Regardless of the size of the screw, the best prescription for Roddy B is time. ... along with help from the Mavs staff.
And there, of course, is a problem.
Due to the labor dispute, Roddy B will be unable to work with Casey Smith and the rest of the well-respected Dallas athletic training staff to gradually progress in rehab. Obviously, advice and supervision can come from elsewhere as the plan/hope is the new surgery will fully unite the bone, eliminate any lingering pain, and allow Beaubois to return to his speedy ways.
But no Mavs involvement? That's unfortunate. Meanwhile, speaking from a medical perspective, the inherent risk of re-injury remains high until the bony union is 100 percent. By addressing the issue now the Mavs are insuring Beaubois gets some much needed time to recover. He can focus on rehab throughout the offseason and may even receive some additional time depending on the looming lockout.
Precedent for success? Yes. The future is not lost with this latest surgery and plenty of players including Josh Childress and Ricky Davis have recovered from a similar injury.
Hopefully Beaubois can enter next season with the foot issues behind him and a chance to recover from a lost season – and again, that is the medical perspective.
From a pure basketball perspective, and/or a fan’s perspective, with room for pessimism? It’s impossible to avoid wondering if the “two-to-three months’’ of rehab time is optimistic, whether Roddy B is a “slow healer’’ or “fragile,’’ whether his confidence remains as high as Rick Carlisle insists it is, and whether the “wasted months’’ are on the verge of ballooning into being “wasted years.’’
The Mavs continue to believe that Roddy B is a foundation piece for the future. When it comes to considering “future,’’ a long-term view is understandable. But equally appropriate are the questions of whether Roddy B can offer the talent injection Dallas would like to receive as it attempts to defend its title … hopefully in the fall, when Beaubois’ participation is once again in doubt.
So ... Rudy Fernandez to the rescue, right? If Roddy B isn't a candidate to start at the 2 and use his offensive creativity to give the team a spark, Rudy can simply do some of the same things, right?
News from Spain has the newest Mav (Rudy was acquired on draft night) getting an offer in his native country from Real Madrid. The reported deal would be for six years and would apparently make him the highest paid player in the history of the Spanish ACB,
We work on the assumption that Mavs GM Donnie Nelson entered the agreement to swap for Fernandez with full knowledge of Rudy's long-standing flirtation with a return to Europe. He stated on draft night that acquiring Fernandez was the team's "A scenario.''
At this moment, neither of these two scenarios at the 2-guard look quite like an "A.''
Jeff Stotts is a Certified Athletic Trainer, MAT, PES and the Injury Analyst for Rotowire.com and for DallasBasketball.com. You can follow him on twitter
at RotoWireATC . Follow Mike Fisher and the Mavs at FishSports .