James Wiseman's meniscus tear might've ended his rookie season, and the Warriors can't bank on his return.
Whether he misses the remainder of the regular season or much longer than that, however, depends upon the severity of his injury.
A smaller tear would entail a four-to-six week recovery, according to Dr. Nirav Pandya, an associate professor of orthopedic surgery at UCSF. Pandya hasn't examined Wiseman's injury, nor did he provide an official diagnosis.
A February review of injuries in the NBA and WNBA -- co-authored by Dr. Sachin Allahabadi, a UCSF orthopedic surgery resident -- cited a pair of studies that found 80.5 percent of players who sustained torn menisci didn't experience a significant change in PER upon their return. Pandya tweeted that Wiseman's age bodes well for his recovery from the injury, and he told KRON-TV's Kylen Mills that the Warriors would be wise to take their time ensuring Wiseman fully recovers.
"I think the key thing is just making sure that, even though people are gonna be impatient wanting him to come back or wanting him to rehab, the most important thing for his development over the next five-to-10 years is to get his meniscus right," Pandya told Mills.
"So if that means missing the summer or missing some part of training camp because he's healing, that's going to be much more important to his play rather than a couple months of extra time during the summer where he could be picking up some skills. You only have one meniscus [in each leg], and it's important for him to get it healed right."
Considering Wiseman's importance to the franchise, the Warriors at this point must be rooting for a full recovery no matter how long it takes. Until then, Golden State will mix and match options at center.
Without Wiseman, the Warriors' only natural healthy center is Kevon Looney. Coach Steve Kerr told reporters that Draymond Green and Juan Toscano-Anderson would play more minutes at the position if Wiseman had to miss a significant amount of time.