Marvin Bagley spoke with the assembled media following Saturday’s win over the San Antonio Spurs and offered a less-than-encouraging update on his foot injury.
Marvin Bagley on his return to the court. pic.twitter.com/2dEstDLSjN— Kings on NBCS (@NBCSKings) February 9, 2020
Before the game Vlade Divac held a brief press conference, as is common following the trade deadline (you want watch the press conference here). When asked about Marvin returning this season, Vlade said “I hope so”. Bagley reiterated that the statement.
For as much as I thought that Kings GM Vlade Divac may have misspoke when he said "he hoped so" when asked if Marvin Bagley III would return this season, Bagley told us he too hopes to play again this season. Meaning, there is actually a possibility that he doesn't.— Sean Cunningham (@SeanCunningham) February 9, 2020
"I'm definitely going to try to come back this year, but that's too far ahead at this point. The most important thing for me right now is to make sure I'm healthy." -Marvin Bagley when asked if he would return to the court this season— James Ham (@James_HamNBCS) February 9, 2020
This is concerning on two fronts.
First, the Kings spent the number two overall pick on Bagley, and they expect him to be a key part of the team going forward. He’s supposedly the second cornerstone next to De’Aaron Fox. In his second season, he’s only played 13 games. This should have been a season for Bagley to play a ton of minutes so the Kings and the fans could really see what Bagley is capable of. It’s hard to sell fans on this team’s future if fans can’t see Bagley developing.
Second, and in my opinion more importantly, how in the world has the training staff bungled this injury this bad? Bagley missed 8 games with a foot strain before returning to action. He played five games and was actually played well enough, with no reports of lingering pain. He hurt himself again in the Utah game on January 18th, played in the Miami game on January 20th, the Kings medical staff spent a week calling it residual soreness, and now he might miss the rest of the season?
It’s frustrating so see a season so derailed by injuries, while also seeing a huge lack of transparency from the team’s medical staff. They still have not said which ligament was strained, or what grade the strain was diagnosed as. The team provides timelines for when players will be re-evaluated (always between 1 and 3 weeks), rather than expected timelines for return. I understand the mindset that setting a timeline for return can make fans upset if that target isn’t met, but I also think a complete lack of transparency is just as upsetting for fans.
Note: This post originally said Bagley got hurt January 20th. It has been updated to show January 18th, which is when Bagley says he re-injured his foot.