Another Career Threatening Injury

by Paul Raymond | Posted on Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

All over the internet and ESPN today the talk has been about Houston Rockets center Yao Ming‘s career possibly being over. Lost in the conversation thou is that another prominent athlete may suffer the same career ending fate and that is Carlos Beltran of the New York Mets. Today’s New York Post reports that the center fielder may be forced to undergo microfracture surgery on his right knee.

At the age of 32 any knee surgery doesn’t sound good for a career, especially when the player has already had surgery on both knees during his years. The news gets even worse when you hear about microfracture surgery. A surgery that is still in its infant stages in the sports world and has been met with just sporadic success.


There have been some well known athletes who have returned at a high level. They include Jason Kidd, Tracy McGrady (although he still has continuous knee problems), Zach Randolph and Amar’e Stoudamire. Hearing those names makes Mets fans think OK we should be alright, till they remember the New York Knicks history with the surgery. Some players have never been the same or forced to retire because of, those include Allan Houston, Antonio McDyess, Jamal Mashburn and Terrell Brandon.

So you see this is a surgery that isn’t a guarantee to get someone back on the playing field. To help his cause Beltran went to Colorado and met with the doctor who developed the procedure, surgeon Richard Steadman. This was his second opinion and I’m sure if he decides to undergo the surgery he’d ask the inventor to do it.

Any surgery would undoubtedly cost Beltran the rest of 2009, something that will doom any chance the Mets have this year. One has to wonder thou is it the teams own fault?

Beltran has been bothered by knee pains for quite a while now. In late may he underwent an MRI that showed a small bone bruise. The team let him keep playing since it was just a bruise. Not too long ago he underwent another MRI which showed the bruise to be twice the size now. Only thing you can conclude is that the injury got worse by continuing to play.

Was it the player not telling the team how much pain he was really in? Possible. But looking at all the injuries the Mets are dealing with this year, you have to wonder if it was the team pushing him to continue playing.

Regardless of whose fault it was I’m sure the Mets brass will be looking into what happened during the winter of 2010. Someone is going to have to answer for the rash of injuries and slow recoveries. I think its safe to say that someone’s job could be on the line if things there get worse.

Back to Beltran.

While his career never reached the heights one thought it would, you know after that huge postseason of 2004 with the Houston Astros, he has turned into a very productive player, a perennial All-Star. For his career to end because of an injury would be a shame. But if he has the surgery and comes back at a high level it could be a new milestone for this type of surgery. It could show that athletes, at least in baseball, can undergo such a surgery and continue their careers.


Right after posting this an article was seen at the NY Daily News reporting that Richard Steadman has said microfracture surgery is not needed and that the original diagnosis of a bone bruise was correct. Even so one still has to wonder what’s going on with the Mets and injuries. Is it bad luck or bad trainers?

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