Sharpshooter Ryan Anderson stayed behind in Salt Lake City as the New Orleans Pelicans departed Friday night for Portland, preparing to take the next step in his quest to return to the NBA court next season.
Saturday, Anderson heads to Los Angeles, where on Tuesday, April 8, surgeons will attempt to repair the 2 herniated discs in his neck that have been triggering intense nerve pain.
Anderson sent out this tweet Friday morning:
My last shootaround for the season. Leaving for surgery tomorrow. The road ahead starts now http://t.co/F3vJ2TAwa4
Surgeons will access Anderson’s injured discs through his neck, similar to the procedure used to repair quarterback Peyton Manning’s neck injury.
Once doctors get a closer look, they’ll decide whether to replace the missing tissue with a portion of Anderson’s own tissue harvested from elsewhere in his body or use tissue from a donor bank. It’s a decision that can’t be made until doctors see the exact condition of Anderson’s discs.
The Pelicans have high hopes that the maximum amount of time Anderson will miss is six months. Team management firmly believes the team’s clutch 3-point man will be ready for training camp.
Anderson herniated his discs in a collision with Gerald Wallace in Boston during the Pelicans game against the Celtics in January.
Relying on careful checkups and the advice of doctors, Anderson delayed having surgery for months, waiting to see if his neck would heal on its own. In March, those medical experts advised Anderson and the Pelicans that his best option for a full recovery is surgery.