The clock is ticking for Cade Cunningham to decide whether he wants to proceed with surgery or go the rest route to try and heal the stress fracture in his shin. If he undergoes surgery soon, he may still be able to return by the end of the season. However, if he waits much longer, the recovery could bleed into training camp and even the start of next season. The alternative, simply resting while the fracture heals, would likely result in a shorter recovery time. There is a catch, though. Simply resting the injury increases the risk of aggravation or re-injury, which could result in surgery anyways.
Cunningham’s injury history is relatively short, mirroring his professional career. He’s dealt with a hip pointer and an ankle sprain, but nothing keeping him out for longer than a few games.
The Pistons are reportedly “encouraging” Cunningham to undergo surgery, but we understand why the young player may not want to sign away his second season so quickly. With virtually no playoff hopes this year, the Pistons are fine with losing Cunningham for the season in hopes that he will be able to make a full (and uneventful) recovery.
The first all-around pick will need to decide soon if he hopes to have this shin injury only impact his second year in the pros and not his third. The safer option here is surgery. But rest and rehab comes with a shorter recovery time as long as everything goes as planned. Unfortunately, healing from an injury doesn’t always go as planned.