The later and later it has gotten, the more and more I have been expecting the team to officially shut down Tyler Hansbrough for the rest of the year. Well, that still hasn’t happened, but Mike Wells is today reporting that Tyler’s coach doesn’t expect him back.
“I don’t think there’s been an official announcement, but it would not surprise me not to have him the rest of the year,” O’Brien said. “I’m not counting on him to be back.
“He’s dealing with a tough situation. It’s getting deep into the season. He’s unable to practice and condition. He would have to get himself in condition again if he got better within the next three weeks. That’s a tough situation.”
Tyler appeared in four games in mid-January after sitting out for two weeks with an inner ear infection but was by his own admission “dizzy” the entire time and never played more than 13 minutes. The final game in that stretch was on January 16 and he played just 4 minutes.
He hasn’t suited up since.
Tomorrow will be March and he for all intents and purposes hasn’t played since just after Christmas. And given the uncertainty surrounding an affliction that has turned from an inner ear infection to vertigo-like symptoms that prevent him from even flying in an airplane to “Jeez, he hasn’t played basketball in two months” … this is now beyond simply unfortunate and “a wasted rookie season” — it is officially troubling.
And I’m not in the locker room and haven’t ever spoken to Tyler, but from everything I’ve read from Wells and elsewhere, it sounds like the uncertainty isn’t just among the fan base. It doesn’t sound like anyone — Tyler, O’Brien, Larry Bird, doctors — really knows what is going on here.
As O’Brien says, Tyler’s rookie year is probably over. There’s very little point in an out-of-shape Hansbrough trying to race back for the final 10 games of a pointless Pacers season. The last thing you would want is for him to catch a Kurt Rambis-type clothesline going up for a lay up or smack his head on the floor diving for a loose ball — as he’s been known to do. Let’s just keep the docs on the case, figure out what’s going on and hope he can — literally — get his head right over the Summer.
Hopefully, that’s all it takes.
But in “officially troubling” news … Tim earlier brought up the Wikipedia entry for former Cincinnati Red and Boston Red Sox Nick Esasky.
Though he twice hit more than 20 home runs in a season with the Reds, his best statistical year came in 1989 as a member of the Boston Red Sox to whom he was traded for switch-hitting first baseman/outfielder Todd Benzinger. During that season, he hit .277 with 30 home runs and 108 runs batted in. That offseason, as a free agent, Esasky signed a three-year, $5.6 million contract with the Atlanta Braves, but was forced to retire after playing just nine games due to developing vertigo stemming from an ear infection. His salary was paid for by insurance.
This is officially troubling.