The Sixers kicked off their media day availabilities on Monday with some news on one of their key free-agent additions.
PJ Tucker underwent an arthroscopic procedure on his left knee, the team announced.
He was cleared for on-court work and will be in Charelston, South Carolina to participate in the Sixers’ training camp.
President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey described it as a “late-summer, ten-minute procedure”. “He’s already back on the court. We’re excited to see what he can do.”
Morey didn’t anticipate any complications or setbacks.
“We’re not that concerned by it, obviously,” head coach Doc Rivers said. “He’s a guy we’re really looking forward to having in the fold and we’re going to keep him healthy all year. That’s the goal.”
Tucker turned 37 in May. Given the harassing role he plays as a defender, concern about anything related to the knees is valid. Elite defenders who aren’t gifted with ideal physical attributes have to dig deep into a defensive stance to be effective. That means they have to lower their center of gravity to stay on balance as they move. That’s where the knees, specifically, come into play. The more weight and shiftiness exerted on the knees, the more wear and tear there is on those joints.
As for the offensive side of the ball, Tucker’s role is so limited anyway that major concern trends towards being excessive at this point. Knee ailments or not, he’s going to be pinned to the corners and fighting for offensive rebounds and loose balls. Unless there’s an extended stretch of him missing short on those corner triples, an impact on his offense might not even be noticeable.
The Sixers clearly don’t seem worried about it — at least not right now. But, no games have been played yet. Time will tell.