Kirilenko Out Until January With Shoulder Injury

Andrei Kirilenk via Daylife.comIt wasn’t just Andrei Kirilenko’s face that bounced off the floor last week.  Apparently his shoulder took a bit of the brunt too, and it was bad enough that he’ll be out until at least January while he recovers.

CSKA announced on Monday afternoon: “Andrei Kirilenko took additional tests today and consulted with experts in sports trauma. According to the verdict of doctors, contusion changes in the muscles and ligaments of the left shoulder will require long-term therapeutic measures. Taking into consideration the necessity of a long-term rehabilitation process and the need to get back into shape through practices, Kirilenko is likely to miss the remaining CSKA games in the year 2011.”

By then, the NBA season will have begun.  Unless an NBA team feels the injury isn’t serious enough to be concerned, I assume Kirilenko, a free agent, will have to wait to sign with a team (or re-sign with Utah).  That means Kirilenko will have to leave Russia, come back to the U S., have team doctor after team doctor do his own evaluation, and miss valuable time with whichever team he signs with.  

Kirilenko was having a really good year with CSKA, but now the second guessing will start.  Was this really worth it for AK-47?  Was “changes in the muscles and the ligaments of the left shoulder” worth a couple of Euroleague monthly MVP’s?  

Of course, the counter-argument is that it could have happened anywhere.  But it didn’t.  It happened in Russia while he was a free agent during a lockout.  Now he’s going to lose money while he convinces teams that he’s healthy. 

Tough break for Kirlenko.  For his sake, I hope this is something that will be healed after a few weeks.