You couldn’t miss it sitting courtside at my seat. Gary Harris fell to the ground on his shoulder and out it popped again. I couldn’t see the actual injury obviously because he had on a jersey and T shirt. What you could see was how far it dropped and Harris desperately trying to maneuver it and get comfortable.
I don’t think Harris is the MVP of this team, but he is a star and he is the most reliable player on the team. Who knows how long he will stay in East Lansing, but his NBA glory is sure to be greater than his Spartan.
After the game Tom Izzo talked about the reoccurring injury.
“This year was a tougher year than most in this league. I mean, it was physical. I don’t know if you saw [Gary] Harris, but I think he popped another shoulder. You could see on that one play.”
Izzo went on to say, “Well, it was a problem because I needed him in there to defend, and I asked him, and of course he said he’s okay.”
Izzo added that, “I mean, could you see it? Did you see it when it happened? Yeah, it was obvious.
But he’s done it before and stayed in and made a couple shots. But he had that one wide open in the corner, and I don’t know where it’s at. I didn’t talk to him much about it after. He’s played with it all year. It’s something he has to deal with. But tough kid. It’s a shame because he just didn’t get in a rhythm offensively today.”
Earlier this season when Harris experienced the shoulder popping out for the second time we invited world renowned and world class surgeon known as the Doctor of the Hall of Famers, Dr. Lanny Johnson on the Spartan Nation Radio program to discuss the injury. Dr. James Andrews is the world foremost authority presently on athlete orthopedic issues. Johnson is his mentor.
Since Dr. Johnson has performed this surgery thousands of times and on Hall of Fame athletes we asked his thoughts. He is NOT the Doctor for Harris and would only speak in generalities because of that. He said at that time that he thought based on the reports that Harris should have surgery to repair the injury and sit out the remainder of the season.
He said then, “It is not a matter of if a shoulder will come out again now, it is when and how many times. Based on my experience and I am not speaking specifically to Mr. Harris, I am making that judgment on the reports that Coach Izzo has said of the nature of the injury. To continue to let it to happen (shoulder popping out) is not in the best long term interest of the athlete or his future playing career.”
When contacted today about this article Dr. Johnson said, “The subsequent evidence validates my opinion.”
Harris obviously decided to keep playing, but as Harris injury continues to occur it will continue to impact the Spartans season.