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Phoenix Suns confirm Cam Johnson torn meniscus, no timetable for return

Surgery could result in fast recovery or slow recovery, depending on several factors

NBA: Dallas Mavericks at Phoenix Suns Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Phoenix Suns today announced that Cam Johnson did suffer a torn meniscus and will undergo surgery in the coming days. No timetable has been provided on his return.

Once they get a look inside the knee, the surgeon could present Cam with two options — partial/total removal of the meniscus (1-2 month recovery) or full meniscus repair (6-8 month recovery).

We won’t know which option was offered and/or chosen until after the surgery is done.

For historical perspective, remember Eric Bledsoe’s knee injuries? They were all menisci too.

Each knee has two menisci, which act as shock absorbers for the knee bones. You can imagine NBA athletes need as much shock absorption as possible, right?

Bledsoe first suffered a torn meniscus in his right knee in the 2011 strike-lengthened offseason, with the Clippers. At that time, Bledsoe had a 6-8 recovery time which means he chose the ‘partial removal’ option. He ended up playing 40 of the team’s 66 games (shortened by strike).

He injured that same right knee again in December 2014 with the Suns, and again chose the shorter recovery time. He returned in 9 weeks this time, and was just as good after the return as before it.

Then in 2015, he suffered a torn meniscus in the other knee, the left one. This time he chose the full repair option and missed six months of playing time.

As far as we know, Bledsoe never needed another season-impacting knee surgery after returning for the 2016-17 season. But what we don’t know is how much tendinitis he’s suffered in those knees, and whether the right knee or left knee is worse today. All we know is that his performance declined from age 28 to 32 — often the back end of a player’s prime — and he’s now out of the league at age 33.

Stay tuned for an update from the Phoenix Suns, or insiders for that matter, on what kind of surgery Cam chose (if even given a chance to choose), which will dictate how long he will be out. Options will depend on the severity and location of the injury.

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