According to the Charlotte Hornets, Kemba Walker had knee surgery today to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee. The team says it was successful.
OFFICIAL @hornets G Kemba Walker underwent successful surgery today to repair torn meniscus in L knee. Return to basketball activity in July— Charlotte Hornets PR (@HornetsPR) May 9, 2016
So for starters, we wish nothing but good health and a full recovery for Walker. That said, it's funny how every surgery is announced as successful immediately after taking place. Do we really know it's successful, or do they just mean that the player's leg didn't have to be amputated and therefore it was a successful surgery? Just seems weird. While it's unlikely for Walker to face complications from this surgery it's probably worth noting that we won't actually know if it was successful or not until the recovery time is complete.
When Walker tore his meniscus is unclear, and it's unlikely the Hornets will announce when that took place. However, many observers noticed during the Hornets playoff series against the Miami Heat that there were moments where Walker just didn't look like he was comfortable. It looked like it had something to do with his leg, but general thought was probably that it was just a sprain or strain of some kind, and nothing that needed surgery. While playing on a torn meniscus is certainly not unheard of it's still crazy to think that Walker was playing in high intensity games like the playoffs with this injury.
Assuming that Walker tore his meniscus sometime before the playoffs, he finished the seven game series averaging 22 points on a very poor 36 percent shooting from the field. How much this had to do with the the sheer volume of attempts the Hornets were asking him to take vs the injury itself is unknown, but it's hard to believe that the injury didn't have some effect on his play. Again, playing on an injury isn't rare, but it's not exactly easy either.
The expected recovery time for this is until July so it looks like the tear wasn't very severe. A torn meniscus is an injury that can vary in severity with recovery times varying as well, and Walker may have just had a minor one. It's worth noting that the injury that sidelined Al Jefferson earlier in the year was a meniscus tear as well.
While Walker will probably disagree, it looks like the Hornets being eliminated when they did may have been a blessing in disguise for him. Playing on a tear in his knee for a long period of time hardly sounds good for long term health, and hopefully now he can return next season better than ever.