It’s been a week since news first broke that preseason All-American big man Mitch McGary would likely miss the rest of Michigan’s season with a back injury, and now, there is a reported timetable for him to go under the knife.
Michigan’s Mitch McGary set to undergo back surgery on Tuesday, source told ESPN. Most likely done for the season.
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) January 3, 2014
ESPN’s Jeff Goodman (among others) is now reporting that McGary will undergo back surgery on Tuesday, and while he does leave a sliver of hope for a return this season by saying that he’s “most likely” done for the year, it seems exceedingly unlikely that we’ll see him again 2013-2014. McGary has become a lightning rod for pundits concerning the NBA Draft, as he elected to return to school despite lottery projections after a “breakout” NCAA Tournament showing in helping to lead Michigan to the National Championship game.
The 2013-14 season has been a mess for McGary, as he missed the first 2 games of the season with “multiple injuries”, and his statistical prowess suffered, likely due to his injury fallout. On the year, McGary was only averaging 9.5 points and 8.3 rebounds per game, and Michigan has struggled (at least relatively) to a 9-4 record after a preseason top-10 ranking. It’s unclear whether McGary will consider jumping to the NBA after this season, but even before this latest news, he had already slipped to the #21 spot on DraftExpress.com’s latest mock draft.
For me, McGary is the quintessential college player who saw his stock rise to unimaginable heights when they probably shouldn’t have. Still, he’s an exceptional college player when he’s healthy, and there is certainly hope of a professional career if he can regain the type of motor and strength that forced him on to the national radar last season. Stay tuned.