Thomas Robinson Injury: Updates on Blazers Forward's Thumb and Return

Tyler ConwayFeatured ColumnistJuly 15, 2014

LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 15: Thomas Robinson #41 of the Portland Trail Blazers stands on the court during a game against the Atlanta Hawks during the Samsung NBA Summer League 2014 on July 15, 2014 at the Cox Pavilion in Las Vegas, Nevada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Updates from Tuesday, July 22

Portland Trail Blazers PR announced Thomas Robinson underwent surgery:

Updates from Friday, July 18's Chris Haynes has an update on Robinson's thumb:

Thomas Robinson of the Portland Trail Blazers will seek a second opinion on his right thumb, which has a ligament tear.

Surgery is the likely scenario, we’re told, though a final decision has yet to be made.

If a surgical procedure is the path, he is expected to undergo surgery sometime next week, we’re told. It would be a simple procedure and a timetable of approximately six weeks is the recovery time for similar operations.

“I’m in good spirits, man,” Robinson told on Thursday prior to the Trail Blazers losing 88-65 to the Hawks. “I’ll be back in no time. I’m good.”

Original Text

Portland Trail Blazers forward Thomas Robinson will miss the remainder of NBA Summer League in Las Vegas after suffering a ligament tear in his right thumb in Tuesday's 91-76 win over the Atlanta Hawks, the team's public relations staff announced:

Robinson, 23, went down late in the third quarter when trying to brace himself against a fall. He was replaced in the game by Joel Freeland and did not return, finishing with eight points, five rebounds and five assists in 25 minutes. 

According to Mike Tokito of The Oregonian, after the game, Robinson told reporters that X-rays came back negative on his hand and he was "fine." However, the ligament damage later showed up when he underwent further testing, causing Portland to shut him down. A 2012 first-round pick, Robinson had been excelling on both ends in his third summer league appearance.

He averaged 16.5 points and 9.5 rebounds in the two games prior to Tuesday. With the Blazers holding an important fourth-year option in his contract for 2014-15, it'll be imperative that he begins showing more signs of improvement. The former Kansas star, a No. 5 overall pick and considered arguably the safest prospect in his class, is already on his third NBA franchise and hasn't found his niche.

In 70 appearances as a reserve, he averaged 4.8 points and 4.4 rebounds per game in 2013-14. The Blazers signed Chris Kaman this summer and have Meyers Leonard and Joel Freeland hanging around as big depth. Robinson is going to have an uphill battle to maintain consistent playing time, though he's remained confident.

"I think I turned the corner on making better basketball plays this year," Robinson told reporters in May, per Mike Richman of The Oregonian. "I did a lot better instead of thinking I have to score to stay on the floor. Once I got that out of my head I think I did better. Now it's just about coming back and making it consistent."

Getting extensive minutes in summer league might have helped Robinson create a bit of an impression. Veterans are supposed to excel in the Vegas and Orlando environments, and by all accounts, he was lacking the offensive tentativeness that has plagued his career thus far.

The Blazers did not indicate how long they expected Robinson to be away from basketball activities. Given the precarious position of his career and the considerable investment facing Portland, both sides will hope it's not for long.


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