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Fears Realized: Anderson Out Indefinitely

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Ryan Anderson diagnosed with a herniated disc and will be out indefinitely.

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Welp, I guess the old adage of no news is good news doesn't apply after all. Per Pelicans.com:

In a season that has already been filled with adversity due to injuries, the New Orleans Pelicans learned Tuesday that they will be without their leading scorer indefinitely with a herniated disc. That was the diagnosis for Pelicans forward Ryan Anderson, who was struck from behind in Friday’s game in an accidental collision with Boston Celtics forward Gerald Wallace. Anderson spent the past several days in a Boston hospital, undergoing a series of tests on the injury, which caused him to leave the TD Garden in the fourth quarter of Friday’s road win.

Rumors of a herniated disc surfaced several days ago, but understandably, I didn't want to ponder an unsubstantiated worst case scenario. Now we'll likely have months to dwell on it and the rest of the Pelicans season. One thing is for certain though, our playoff chances just took a seismic hit.

Herniated discs are tricky injuries, especially for athletes. Although their recovery timelines vary greatly, these types of injuries have high recurrence rates. 50% of people recover within 1 month, 96% recover within 6 months and 10% go on to need surgery. So even if Anderson falls into the first category, great care would need to be undertaken to avoid a relapse. Undoubtedly, doctors will probably tell him banging among 250-pound brutes in the paint of an NBA game won't be advisable for some time.

UPDATE: Great read over at the Mayfield Clinic. In essence, their website claims most cases of cervical herniated discs resolve in 4 to 6 weeks.