With a roster that has some severe gaps, losing a key player can be extra damaging. But the language surrounding this newest injury news has many forgetting about the team and worrying solely about the player.
After missing most of the preseason with a hamstring issue, forward Kevon Looney tried gamely to play in the season opener, pitching in 10 impactful minutes before getting pulled from the game for what Golden State termed “hamstring tightness.”
News just broke that the issue is much more troubling than just a pulled muscle. As per Anthony Slater of The Athletic, the Warriors and Looney are sitting him out for an indeterminate period of time and conferring with specialists.
Kevon Looney is out for this road trip, Warriors announce, but issue sounds more concerning. Team announces he will see some specialists to evaluate a neuropathic condition.— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) October 26, 2019
According to my quick internet search Neuropathy is a term that refers to general diseases or malfunctions of the nerves. It goes on to say that “nerves at any location in the body can be damaged from injury or disease.”
This is especially concerning given Looney’s early struggles with hip injuries - the corrective surgeries kept him out for most of his rookie year and were cited as a reason for him falling to the Warriors in the draft.
Most famously, Kawhi Leonard has dealt with quadriceps neuropathy. It kept him out of action for most of a year and is one of those concerning issues where the injury has potential impacts well beyond the scope of a professional basketball court.
It’s way too early to tell if Looney’s case is anywhere near the severity of Leonard’s, but according to Steve Kerr, this is not a new issue.
Steve Kerr says Kevon Looney has been dealing with this neuropathic issue for a couple years and it’s what led to recent hamstring issues. Huge blow to already thin Warriors center spot.— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) October 26, 2019
While the Warriors are going to be reeling from this news, it’s important to emphasize how little information is available right now. If the Warriors franchise did know about a nerve damage issue “for years” though and are just now getting around to having it evaluated by a specialist, it could add fuel to the fire for a team already under scrutiny after a series of catastrophic injuries to players who were on and off the injured reserve list in the Finals last season.