Jan 2, 2011, 9:59 AM EDT
Caron Butler went down with the scariest of all injuries last night, clutching his knee before he even landed. An MRI Sunday will reveal what exactly Butler suffered, but the truth is, these things very rarely work out well. A calf like Kevin Garnett and you know it immediately. A shoulder can be bad, but can also be nothing. Same for the elbow, same for the foot. But the knee? You don’t have to be a doctor, just a patient observer to know that the knee usually only goes one of two ways: a tweak or a tear. And the tear is almost always severe.
Art Garcia of NBA.com reports that the fear from the Mavericks is that Butler sustained a torn patella tendon. Goodnight, nurse. That’s a long-term injury, though it’ll take test results to determine how long-term and whether that means season or regular-season.
The worst part? His wife and family were in attendance for the game in Milwaukee (Butler is from Racine, Wisconsin). That’s got to be terrible to go through that pain and have your family watch it happen in front of them.
Losing Butler hurts the Mavericks’ versatility, which had been one of their biggest strengths. It means that Shawn Marion, no spring chicken himself, has to take over more of the small forward load and that Dominique Jones will be recalled from the Texas Legends to fill in. Jones has shown some ability but has all the issues you’d expect from a rookie.
Heading into the week, the Mavericks looked like one of if not the best team in basketball. It would appear that injury is intent on robbing them of that title. The Mavericks have lost three straight.
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