Hawks' Sefolosha: Season-ending leg injury 'caused by the police'
"On advice of counsel, I hope you can appreciate that I cannot discuss the facts of the case. Those questions will be answered by my attorney in a court of law," Sefolosha said in a statement read aloud. "I will simply say that I am in great pain, have experienced a significant injury and that the injury was caused by the police."
Along with teammate Pero Antic, Sefolosha was arrested on misdemeanor charges outside the Chelsea nightclub for trying to prevent police from setting up a crime scene at the stabbing of three people, including NBA forward Chris Copeland.
Sefolosha also was charged with resisting arrest and disorderly conduct and later was observed walking with a limp.
In its own statement, NBPA communications director Tara Greco expressed the union's support of Sefolosha moving forward: "The players union is concerned about the circumstances of Thabo Sefolosha and (Hawks teammate) Pero Antic's arrest and is doing its own investigation of the situation. The union was fully engaged in supporting all three players in court and in the precinct this week, and will continue to stay engaged as each situation evolves."
Sefolosha also declined to comment on the exact timeline of the leg injury and when he first received treatment.
He plans to undergo surgery this week, after which doctors will further determine his rehab schedule.
"It's painful, that's all I can say. I don't want to talk on the facts and how it happened or anything like this," Sefolosha said. "But it's very painful and I will have surgery within the next few days and know a little more on the basketball stuff when I will be able to come back after that. ... This is going to be my first time getting through a surgery, so I don't know exactly what to expect yet. At this point I don't know exactly how long it is going to take."
Sefolosha was a significant presence off the bench, particularly defensively, for the Eastern Conference's No. 1 seed. He plans to travel with the team during the playoffs once the surgery and rehab timeline are set. Sefolosha expressed his gratitude for the support of his teammates and the Hawks organization, but also his regret in being unable to assist their title chase.
"I'm disappointed that I will miss the playoffs and I hate this feeling that I let my team down. But at the same time -- I can't speak too much on it -- but I just hate the bad look that it gives on the team," Sefolosha said. " ... It's just unfortunate, really, the whole situation. I just don't want it to be too much of a distraction on my teammates and on the team."