New York’s 2019 first-round draft pick has hip arthroscopy in Los Angeles
On Wednesday evening, the New York Liberty announced that rookie guard Asia Durr had undergone successful hip surgery which included a labral repair conducted by minimally invasive joint reconstruction and hip preservation specialist Jason Snibbe, MD at DOCS Outpatient Surgery Center.
With this labral repair procedure, Durr is expected to make a full recovery in time for the 2020 season. “We are confident that the procedure will get Asia back on the court and ensure that she is healthy for next season and the long career that lies ahead of her,” Liberty General Manager Jonathan Kolb said.
The news of Durr’s procedure clarifies uncertainty regarding exactly how serious this injury was for the former ACC Player of the Year. After sitting out three games in July, Durr returned to the court for four more games after the All-Star Break. In practice on August 10, she re-aggravated the injury and didn’t return to play for the remainder of the season.
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Head Coach Katie Smith expressed some uncertainty about Durr’s injury in August, which initially was listed a minor groin strain and then was upgraded to a groin strain on August 17.
“Yeah, she just, you know, week to week, [we’re] just figuring it out,” Smith said coming off a loss to the Mystics in Washington. “Obviously [she] re-aggravated it, but you know, again, we’re always about whatever’s best for them because we see a long future with Asia. So she’s just doing everything she can to make sure that she’s healthy and we’ll take it week by week.”
Durr’s progress and the concern that came with it had been on Smith’s mind coming down the stretch of the regular season. When she was asked on September 6 following the Liberty’s last regular-season home game against the Fever what she is considering the most going into the off-season, the former player responded immediately: “Getting people healthy I guess,” she said.
With the draft lottery results yet to be announced at the time, (New York retained the top pick) and the status of free agency is still in limbo in light of the current CBA negotiations, getting Durr healthy was something certain that she knew needed to be resolved.
Initially, Durr’s groin issue caused concern because she has a history with this type of injury, as she missed all of Louisville preseason during her first year. Smith was asked about if this draws worry and responded calling Durr’s situation one of the many hazards on the job.
“I mean, it’s the job hazard,” she said. “Everybody’s got an injury, everybody’s got a surgery everybody’s got—it’s wear and tear and that’s life. And sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t, but honestly, it’s just what we do… they got to make sure that they’re taking care of themselves for their longevity and their careers.”
So how does a nagging groin strain become a labral tear? They are connected. According to the Hospital for Special Surgery, labral tears feel like groin pain and have been commonly missed diagnosed as common groin pulls.
One of Durr’s main assets on the court is her speed and agility. Repeated hip flexion is such a vital part of her game. The mystery has been solved.
Expect Durr to take a full six months to recover, which according to Sports-health.com, is the typical timeframe needed. While she won’t spend her first professional offseason playing abroad or training with USAB, this could be exactly what Durr needs: to slow down, something she hasn’t done since her freshman year of college.
She told Allison Glock of ESPN before the draft this past April that during her days in college, coming off her freshman year groin surgery, she”felt a pressure to bounce back for the team.” I’m sure the 22-year-old saw traces of that pressure coming down the stretch of her first season in the WNBA.
She’s older and wiser now. She’s mentally sound.
While she missed nearly half of her rookie season due to what we know is a labral tear, she still averaged nearly ten points in the 18 games that she laced up for. Her first season as a Cardinal was stifled due to difficulty rehabbing and cortisone shots that weren’t doing the job. Her first season as a member of the New York Liberty was stifled as well, but if history repeats itself, a breakthrough will be on the horizon for “Nite-Nite.”
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