The Pistons former first overall pick could be looking at a lengthy absence and possible surgery. Cade Cunningham is dealing with a stress injury to his tibia, aka shinbone. There are a few different types of stress injuries that can occur, including a stress reaction and a stress fracture. Cunningham has missed the last five games with the injury, and surgery is being considered.

A stress reaction is less severe and typically can heal well on its own with the proper amount of rest and appropriate treatment. This can turn into a more severe stress fracture if it isn’t treated properly. Because surgery is being considered, Cunningham’s tibia injury has likely advanced to a fracture. The tibia is vulnerable to these stress injuries because it bears a lot of weight when playing basketball. All of the sudden starts and stops along with landing at the end of a jump put stress on this part of the leg.

If Cunningham does need surgery it could end his season. This is an injury that many other players have dealt with in recent years, including Jrue Holiday & Seth Curry. Both had season-ending surgery. The Inside Injuries algorithm is projecting a 4-6 month Optimal Recovery Time is he goes under the knife. It’s a tough loss for the Pistons, but it should not affect his career. It comes with a promising long-term outlook.