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In March of 2006, Twitter was created; three months before Brandon Roy was drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves and traded to the Portland Trail Blazers. In the time between those epic events and Roy's retirement from the NBA last December, the All-Star guard missed 89 out of a possible 410 contests his team played due to a series of knee ailments, a remarkably low figure considering the severity of the ailments he suffered through. So why doesn't Roy have a Twitter account, this far into the game?
And why, through former college teammate Will Conroy's twitter account, is Roy choosing to announce his potential comeback to the NBA, when it looked for years that his bone-on-bone condition would prevent him from performing anywhere near his franchise-level abilities? This doesn't seem to matter to Roy, who apparently is chomping at the bit and ready to return after having to walk away from the Blazers last winter. Alex Kennedy from HoopsWorld (beware, annoying auto-play video at the link) put two and tweets together on Saturday to boil down Roy's intentions. Here's a summation:
"Lord willing, I will play again soon," Roy wrote in a series of tweets. "Yes, I'm preparing for a comeback. I'm training daily. I'm preparing for a return next year. I appreciate the love. Hopefully I'll be back on the floor soon. Health is good."
And this is where we play fake doctor.
We're sure Roy's health is good. We're sure, after a series of workouts and 14 months removed from his last appearance and the NBA's day-to-day grind, that he's as rested and ready as he's ever been. There's little doubt, considering his layoff, that his wheels are at their peak point of being able to overcome his condition.
The condition, sadly, still remains. You don't re-grow cartilage, and you don't regain the day-to-day explosiveness that cartilage helps provide by sitting out for months and working out diligently. This isn't some ligament tear that Roy is recovering from; his body is missing essential buffers and no amount of rehab can overcome the severity of what he's lacking.
This doesn't mean an NBA return is off the table, though. At worst, Roy could receive a camp invite this fall. He could work out with a squad and let NBA team officials gauge just how far removed he is from his All-Star peak. He doesn't have to play like an All-Star, as well. Rather, Roy could join a team as a serviceable backup off-guard, ready to contribute on an every-other-game schedule rather than sadly disappointing both himself and his Blazers team with those sorts of every-other-game exploits as he did in his final year in Portland, with those knees getting in the way of Roy returning to the sort of production that his smarts, drive and former athleticism once assured him nightly.
Because of issues with insurance and NBA bylaws, Roy couldn't return to the Portland Trail Blazers (as he pointed out on Conroy's Twitter feed) until the 2014-15 season, when the contract extension he signed in the summer of 2010 ends.
This wouldn't, or shouldn't, stop another franchise from at the very least taking a look at the former All-Star, mindful of his struggles and aware of his limitations. Again, Roy isn't working under the same scenarios that befall those who undergo microfracture surgeries (although he's dealt with that procedure) and ligament tears — there are considerable obstacles in his way that no rehab or surgery will aid him in overcoming — but that doesn't have to mean his career is completely over. Despite his retirement last December.
And you can tell the guy is working out. After all, he apparently doesn't even have time enough to set up a Twitter account.