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A Philadelphia 76ers blog, hosted by Christopher A. Vito

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

What MCW’s surgery means moving forward


The player said it. His coach reiterated it.

Michael Carter-Williams, in the same breath, thanked media members who voted him the NBA’s Rookie of the Year and then followed it up by saying he’s unsatisfied with winning a personal award. The 76ers’ point guard spoke Monday about pining for more, not only individual greatness but aspirations of helping the Sixers reach the postseason.

That plan took a detour Tuesday, when the Sixers announced that Carter-Williams had undergone successful surgery to repair a labrum injury on his right shoulder. The team said there’s no timetable for the return of the 22-year-old.

What does the surgery mean for Carter-Williams?

For starters, it’s unlikely he will be available to participate in either of the summer leagues. (The Sixers are expected to field teams for the Orlando and Las Vegas leagues.) There’s no hard-and-fast recovery time for a labrum surgery recipient, but it generally requires two to four months. That timeline would put Carter-Williams in line to be ready for the opening of training camp.

Beyond the summer leagues, Carter-Williams can forget about fine-tuning his game. Monday, at MCW’s Rookie of the Year press conference, Sixers coach Brett Brown spoke at length about the summer months being the time when players make their most money, when they can watch gametape and focus on improving one or two skills that had been weaknesses in the past season.

For Carter-Williams, those well-documented weaknesses were his shooting percentage and his defense. Rehab on his surgically repaired shoulder will prevent Carter-Williams from hoisting the thousands of shots he was likely to take this summer. In addition, Brown’s desire to have Carter-Williams work on his on-the-ball defense and keeping players in front of him will have to be put on the back-burner as he turns his attention toward injury rehab.

The immediate ramifications of Carter-Williams’ surgery won’t be felt in the next few months. Instead, the will bear out when the Sixers’ season begins.

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