By Sheila Dwyer, Knee1 Staff
The Phoenix Suns’ Penny Hardaway will not join his team for the playoffs this season as he had hoped.
After participating in two practice sessions last week, Hardaway and Suns officials decided he should sit out the rest of the basketball season and return to the game next year. Hardaway is still recovering from a knee injury and surgery.
“We know he’s not 100 percent and probably more like 75 percent,” Coach Scott Skiles told the Associated Press. “About 90 percent is the benchmark for putting guys out there. Anything short of that, there becomes a little risk involved. It’s not a risk we are going to take right now.”
Hardaway only participated in four games in 2001 before sitting out due to acute inflammation of the soft tissue and soreness in his knee. He initially injured his knee during last season’s playoffs when he collided with San Antonio’s David Robinson. Hardaway underwent off-season knee surgery, including a microfracture
procedure, which requires an extensive recovery period. He has also been treated for a cyst in his knee and had a loose flap of cartilage removed from the knee since the surgery.
“It’s tough because I owe it all, everything I’m here for, to the organization and my teammates,” Hardaway said. “Not to be able to play in the playoffs is a disappointment, but the sky is the limit for next year. I think I am ahead of schedule right now, but it’s still sad not to be playing in the playoffs.”
Photo courtesy of www.nba.com