McGrady says he will have surgery
The forward told ESPN.com's Stephen A. Smith on Tuesday that his troublesome left knee will end his season and that he will undergo microfracture surgery. McGrady made a public announcement Wednesday on his Web site.
Rockets spokesman Nelson Luis said Wednesday morning that the team had no comment. But Luis said McGrady met with a doctor in New York on Tuesday and had another out-of-state doctor's appointment scheduled Wednesday.
McGrady's name had come up earlier Tuesday in reported trade discussions between the Rockets and New Jersey Nets. The Nets were leery of McGrady's contract and health in discussions involving Nets forward Vince Carter.
McGrady had arthroscopic surgery on the knee last May and has been slow to recover. The seven-time All-Star missed much of January trying to get the knee back in shape and had an MRI last week to try to discover why it was still bothering him.
"The last couple of games, I've regressed," McGrady said during halftime of last Wednesday's game. "I've felt pain."
McGrady's numbers are down across the board this season. He is the Rockets' third-leading scorer at 15.6 points per game and is averaging 4.4 rebounds and 5.0 assists per contest. He is shooting a career-worst 39 percent from the field.
After trading for Ron Artest in the offseason to create a triple threat with McGrady and Yao Ming, the Rockets were expected to challenge for one of the top spots in the Western Conference. But all three players have missed time due to injuries and Houston sits in fifth in the conference, with only two games separating it from the eighth and final spot.
Phoenix Suns forward Amare Stoudemire is an example of the tough road that comes with microfracture surgery. His procedure ultimately cost him all but three games of the 2005-06 season. He returned the next season, however, to play in 82 games and regained his All-Star form.Stephen A. Smith is a columnist for ESPN.com and ESPN The Magazine. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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