If you don't know the name Will Carroll, you should, because he is one of the most renowned experts when it comes to sports injuries. Although Carroll is known more for his work with sites like Baseball Prospectus (specifically, his 'Under the Knife' columns) and Football Outsiders, he has written articles for Basketball Prospectus before - coincidentally, about Jameer. As such, I felt it was appropriate to get in contact with Carroll and ask him a few questions, specifically regarding Nelson's injury.
Would you mind giving the nitty-gritty on how a player can tear his meniscus in his knee playing basketball? What factors account for that type of injury and cause it? Is it a minor injury? Major?
The meniscus is a small layer of cartilage in the knee, providing cushion (and stability) between the bones of the upper and lower leg. It doesn't heal well, so when it tears, surgeons tend to just cut a part off. It's done via scope and is referred to as a "scrape and tape." It's as minor as can be in most situations and I'm a bit surprised they have Nelson listed as a 4-6 week recovery. I'd think this is more like 4 on the outside ... unless Nelson has a history of knee injuries. I know he had the shoulder problem, but not knees, but he is a basketball player. The worry is that down the line, he'll miss that cartilage and need microfracture or knee replacement (if he's done with hoops) but you can read more about that in my article in Pro Basketball Prospectus [2009-10].
The timetable the Orlando Magic have set for Jameer Nelson's recovery is 4-to-6 weeks. What ultimately determines how quickly or slowly he'll be able to come back onto the court? Is this a type of an injury that a player can/can't afford to rush back from or play through?
Pain and swelling. They'll want to make sure he's not aggravating it or putting too much pressure as it heals up. He'll almost literally walk off the table. You don't want to rush, but again, this is about as minor as it comes.
What type of rehabilitation should people expect Jameer to undergo?
Very simple. They'll let him heal, work on the pain and swelling, and get him back to game shape.
Is this a type of injury that could linger with Nelson once he returns onto the court or could become a recurring problem in the future?
Not really. There's some risk down the road, but as knee injuries go, this is as minor and easy as they come.
I like to thank Will for taking the time to provide his thoughts.