Kenyon Martin Doesn't Need Surgery, Will Return to Nuggets This Season

Rich KurtzmanSenior Analyst IMarch 9, 2010

The Denver Nuggets and their veteran power forward Kenyon Martin found out the fate of the injured stud player.

Martin, the main cog in the Nuggets’ defensive machine, was blessed with amazing athletic abilities while he was cursed with troubled knees.

Kenyon Martin is one of many players to have undergone microfracture knee surgery, which mends torn ligaments by drilling small holes into bone and as the bone grows back, the ligaments grow with it. K-Mart is special because he’s the only professional athlete in history to have the procedure done on both knees.

And while he’s been as healthy as ever the last two years, it seems his left knee has kicked him out of competition once again.

Martin has been battling with knee tendonitis all season long, and further inspection revealed a partially torn patella tendon in his left knee.

K-Mart has already been sidelined from Denver’s last two games and has been holding his breath for the last two days while doctors looked over his MRIs.

Luckily, Martin has dodged the bullet of surgery for now at least, as he will receive a “platelet rich plasma therapy” according to the Denver Post’s Benjamin Hochman.

The therapy can take place without surgery, as doctors will inject the plasma mixed with the patient’s blood which can repair the injured tissue.

This PRP therapy is a positive because he will be held out of less time compared to surgery. A Denver Nuggets official report still wouldn’t go into detail about exactly when Martin will be healthy enough to return to games saying he, “is expected to return during the 2009-10 season.”

Whether that means within the next month, the last of the regular season, or weeks later in the postseason remains to be seen.

Really, there’s no way to tell if the procedure will work until after it’s taken place. And still, there’s a possibility of surgery whenever the Nuggets’ season is over.

But missing K-Mart has already forced ailing George Karl into tweaking the starting lineup, with some astounding results.

Backup small forward Joey Graham started in place of Martin against the Pacers, unsuccessfully.

Graham is too small to body up bigger offenders even though he gives more energy than the energizer bunny. He cut the lane well, grabbing a dime from Carmelo Anthony, but he would be dominated by any of a number of bigger opponents.

Against the Trailblazers on Sunday, Karl started seven-footer Johan Petro because he didn’t want Nene to have to play against the physical LaMarcus Aldridge for 35 minutes.

Whether he stumbled upon it or not, starting Petro was a golden decision by the savvy Karl, as the Nuggets looked refined against a divisional foe. Petro only scored six points, but his vivacity for rebounding helped him snag 10.

Not to be missed though was the continued passionate play of Chris “Birdman” Andersen, who scored five points with four boards and three soaring blocked shots. Nene had four blocks as well, and the Nuggets brought a true team effort on the defensive end.

If Denver can play with the duality they did on Sunday, as three players scored 20+ points with the solid defense, they could be unstoppable.

As of late though, Nuggets lose focus and have problems playing their “A” game for an entire game, let alone string those type games together. And that’s with their starter who averages 11.8 points and 9.6 rebounds.

This Denver team is deep, and the degree of depth will be tested without K-Mart. Backups have to play like starters. Bench warmers must produce.

These Nuggets’ character has already been tested with Karl’s cancer, and it will continue to be with this injury.

If Denver wants to compete for a championship, the time to step up is now.


Rich Kurtzman is a Colorado State University graduate and freelance journalist who specializes in Colorado Sports. Along with writing here for, Kurtzman is the Denver Broncos Featured Columnist for and the Colorado State Rams Examiner for .

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