Toronto Raptors forward Linas Kleiza has not had much luck with injuries the last couple of years and bad turned to worse as the Lithuanian player might have to undergo a knee surgery once again.
The 28-year-old Kleiza has been sidelined for the last couple of months and has appeared in only 20 games this season. According to Asta Zukaite of 15min.lt, this number is unlikely to change.
It is claimed that the player could not only be done for the season, but the future of his career in general is in doubt.
Although Kleiza has stated that the knee issues have been caused by a long summer with the Lithuanian national team, unconfirmed sources suggest that the first arthroscopic surgery, which was performed by Dr. J. Richard Steadman in Colorado in 2011, might not have gone fully according to plan.
According to the former head of the Lithuanian national team’s delegation and a good friend of Kleiza, Antanas Guoga, it is likely that the surgery will need to be repeated.
“I’ve heard that the surgery didn’t go right, there were some mistakes [in the rehabilitation process] after the injury. It’s not good that he underwent surgery in the United States. You can’t turn the clock back, but things might have been different, if it had been Lithuanian medics,” Guoga told 15min.lt.
Given the seriousness of the knee issues, Kleiza is likely set to miss the European Championship in Slovenia, but the new coach of the national team Jonas Kazlauskas maintained his optimism.
“I’m very concerned about Linas. He has been the key player of the team the last couple of tournaments. I’m hoping he manages to get over the difficulties. Health is a long-term concern and I will not put any pressure on anyone,” Kazlauskas told 15min.lt.
The head doctor of the Olympic team Dalius Barkauskas explained to 15min.lt that arthroscopic surgeries can have complications, which can influence the rehabilitation process and not have the best results in the end and Kleiza was unlucky to have this happen to him.
It is yet unclear whether the Raptors player will have to go under the scalpel once again, as it is reported that non-invasive methods will be attempted, before resorting to another arthroscopic surgery.