Nicolas Batum will once again join the French National Team this summer. It was speculated that his tradition could be disrupted this year due to the superior labral tear that kept him out of the last 8 games of Portland’s season. Although he will not be resting up this offseason as some had hoped, it is still a very positive sign for Batum and the Blazers.
It is the most absolute confirmation to date that Batum’s shoulder will not require surgery. Even if he did need it, he would likely not be forced to miss any of the regular season, but he would certainly lose valuable time to improve over the summer. The standard recovery time after surgical repair of the labrum is 4-6 weeks for the cartilage to heal, and 4-6 weeks more for it to then reach full strength. Nicolas has not only dodged a 2-3 month bullet, he has found himself in a position to get extra practice.
The only concern here is that he might over-do it. Tears, strains, and sprains are nothing to be trifled with. Chicago fans know all too well how a few minor injuries can become one big one (my condolences). Luckily, Batum is not under the same sort of pressure at this time, but it is always a bit unnerving when an athlete opts to play through pain. We’ll have to take it on good faith that Batum and his doctors know what’s what before he takes the floor for France in July.
Nicolas is one of the most well-rounded players in the league, and it is good to see him recovering so quickly. The only other player in the NBA to average a block, a steal, and a 3 all season was named Kevin Durant. Batum certainly has areas to work on (sloppy passing, off the ball movement, on the ball movement), but his versatility is the glue that holds the Blazers together. It looks as if, barring any bizarre setbacks, he will be 100% of his old self soon enough; maybe even better.