San Antonio Spurs point guard Dejounte Murray successfully underwent knee surgery to repair a torn right ACL on Friday morning.
The tragic injury derailed what was setup to be a breakout campaign for the 22-year-old. Instead, Murray will focus his energy on the recovery process over the course of the 2018-19 season.
DJ completed his first step toward recovery with charisma and a forward-thinking attitude. This was conveyed through the caption he posted on an Instagram photo on Friday afternoon.
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After taking the starting role midway through last season, Murray was the clear cut point guard of the future for San Antonio. Now, backup guard Derrick White, who’s expected to return from a heel injury in the coming weeks, will assume the role.
In his sophomore season, Murray averaged 8.1 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.2 steals per contest. His on-court leadership, lockdown defense and firm understanding of fundamental basketball makes him a perfect successor to Tony Parker.
Athletes suffer torn ACLs regularly nowadays. With modern advancements in sports medicine, there’s a clear route for Murray to follow back to health. In the face of adversity, Murray has a chance to grow as a scorer, playmaker and ball handler. ACL tears are no longer the end-all, be-all of a player’s career. By focusing his efforts on growth, Murray can return with an improved skill set and veteran experience.
While Murray’s recovery will be a topic of discussion throughout the course of the year, there’s basketball to be played. San Antonio has begun to adapt without their starting guard and started the season strong with a victory over Minnesota.
While Murray rehabs and recovers from his surgery, the Spurs will remain focused on the same goal that’s always driven them: championships.