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Kendall Brown underwent right leg surgery, ending his rookie season
Brown, the 48th pick in the 2022 draft, was bothered by his right tibia most of the season. It developed into a fracture and so he ultimately had surgery.
Kendall Brown’s rookie season is officially over.
The Pacers announced on Monday evening that the 19-year-old underwent surgery to address a right tibia stress fracture. The operation was performed by Dr. Renn Crichlow at OrthoIndy.
He is out indefinitely and, according to the team, “is expected to make a full and complete recovery.”
Brown, a second-round pick for the Pacers in June, was first diagnosed with a stress reaction in early December. (Note “reaction” rather than a “fracture” then.) That was after pain persisted and, being the new guy, he didn’t want to make excuses and miss time.
“I was playing on it for a couple months, going to practice and games and playing through it,” Brown revealed back on Jan. 25 after his second game back. “I just thought it was a muscle thing. And then we took an MRI and that’s when it showed the stress reaction. That’s when they told me to take a break and chill.
“I felt it and we did treatment for it, but I didn’t know if it was anything serious so I just kept playing through it.”
After undergoing an MRI, which revealed the stress reaction, he sat out for the next six weeks hoping that it would heal in time.
Brown then returned to game action on Jan. 22 and was on a 15-minute restriction for the first four games. He played in 10 games total after the diagnosis, before ultimately being shut down on Feb. 13.
Initially, a stress reaction occurs and is marked by localized pain and swelling. Stress reactions are often treated conservatively with rest in hopes that the remodeling process can catch back up and the bone can return to full strength. However, if improperly treated or enough time off is not allowed, a stress reaction can easily develop into a stress fracture. These injuries generally require longer periods of rest and, in some cases, surgical intervention.
The average time lost for stress-related tibia injuries that required surgery is 61 games.
Fortunately, these types of injuries are not career-altering. A 2017 study on bony stress injuries in the NBA showed that individuals who suffer these injuries often return to their pre-injury level of play.
Brown, who is signed to a two-way contract, averaged 10.3 points, 4.9 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game while appearing in 16 games this season with the Mad Ants — the Pacers' G League affiliate. He played in just six games with the Pacers.
The 6-foot-7 guard out of Baylor University posted the following photo and message to Instagram on Monday night: “Surgery went good y’all, blessings!”