James Wiseman will undergo right knee surgery later this week, either Thursday or Friday, per league sources. It’s a crucial moment for the Warriors’ near-term outlook and an early-career pivot point for the rookie center. The results of the surgery will determine the expected return timetable, which ranges from a shorter 4-6-week absence to a possible multi-month recovery that would severely limit his offseason availability.
The imaging on Wiseman’s knee is inconclusive. Different experts have different opinions, which isn’t uncommon in these situations. Surgeons often determine the best course of action during the procedure once given a clearer look at the tear. That’s the case with Wiseman. The Warriors and Wiseman won’t know the course of action and expected absence until after the surgery.
Meniscus injuries are complicated. Our Ethan Strauss talked to a doctor about the complexities. But, in general, there are two types of surgical treatments being considered: a trim or a repair. The trim snips out a portion of the meniscus. The repair attempts to stitch it together and keep it fully intact.
The trim comes with a shorter return-to-action timetable. Alen Smailagic tore his meniscus early this season and the eventually determined course was a trim. He had surgery in early January and was back on a G League court in mid-February. If the trim is minimal — basically a small percentage decrease in the knee’s cushion — it’s the course many basketball players opt to take.