As we know, Alex Len, a potential 1st overall pick in this year’s draft has been on crutches for a while after undergoing surgery in May to fix a stress fracture. As per College Basketball Talk, some issue might be taken with how the injury might be discovered.
Len was on Bill Simmons’ job interview podcast a few days ago and admitted that he played through the season feeling pain. Here are some direct quotes from the interview between Simmons, Len and Jalen Rose.
Simmons: “So, like the last month of the season you were playing hurt?”
BS: “And you knew it? Did you tell anybody?”
AL: “Yeah, I told my trainers, but we treated it like a regular, like, ankle sprain. We did a lot of treatment. Icing, stuff like that, steam. But we decided to do MRI after the season. After the season, we found out I had a problem in there.”
Jalen Rose: “Bill, when you’re in college they don’t want you to get [the MRI] during the season. It benefits them for you to finish the season.”
BS: “I don’t love that idea. The MRI should have happened before.”
Now, this could be as innocuous as Maryland simply thinking it was nothing more than a small tweak or some soreness. That being said, it does not look like very ethical practice from the school. Rose’s quote is especially telling since he has had the experience of playing college ball before.
If Maryland did indeed decide to bury Len’s injury and have him play through it, some sort of punishment should come down on the school. These kids are making a commitment to play for the team, they aren’t getting paid and for some of these top prospects, an injury like that could be the difference between millions and sitting at home with no money.
It certainly seems like Len will be fine and we all hope that he will, but there should be some sort of investigation launched to find out what happened. To what extent did the coaching staff know that Len was playing hurt? Was it Len’s choice to play through the pain?
Luckily for Len, it seems like his injury hasn’t hurt his draft stock in the least. In fact since the season has ended, his stock has risen to the point where he could potentially go first overall. Hopefully he recovers from this injury with no issues and that playing on it did not further aggravate or create any sort of long term injury trouble.