One can hardly be surprised when the Chicago Bulls drop injury news out of the sky. This morning, it was announced that Taj Gibson underwent arthroscopic surgery to repair his left ankle and his estimated return to full basketball activity is four months. Via the official press release, the Bulls say Gibson successfully underwent the procedure on Tuesday in Indianapolis and the surgery was performed by foot specialist Dr. David Porter.
Miraculously, Gibson played in 62 games last season while battling chronic ankles problems. By my unofficial count, Gibson rolled his newly repaired left ankle four times over the course of the year. It's been at least three.
It's important to note that around All-Star time last season, a rather interesting Sam Smith article revealed former Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau directing Gibson to, "never try to tell about any injuries," seemingly prioritizing short-term gain over long-term health. Gibson also revealed then that he was playing with a stage two ligament tear in his left hand as well as the lower-body injuries. And one other important tidbit from Smith's article: doctors told Gibson that the injury would go away after the season. Well, it sure did go away. In the form of an arthroscopic surgery.
Soonafter that was published, Taj wound up missing ten games to begin March with that same ankle in a walking boot, and never quite looked 100% through the rest of the season.
Credit him for his refusal to miss games, sure. But this isn't a minor surgery by any means. Gibson, who turns 30 next week, is going to spend the entire summer rehabbing and may miss training camp, which is a major bummer. He's perennially involved in trade talks, so a natural reaction is to consider how this injury affects his value.