Stanford doctor offers NBC encouraging estimate for Kevin Huerter’s injury timeline

Memphis Grizzlies v Sacramento Kings
Memphis Grizzlies v Sacramento Kings / Lachlan Cunningham/GettyImages

Early in the Kings’ overtime win over the Memphis Grizzlies, Kevin Huerter suffered a dislocated shoulder and labral tear. Huerter was on a fast break, going up for a layup when Desmond Bane made contact with his left arm. 

The injury looked incredibly painful, and most of us immediately prepared for the idea that the Kings would have to finish the season without Huerter. He has been struggling all season long but has a serious gravity on offense that stretches the floor for De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis to go to work. 

This is certainly not how most of us wished Keon Ellis to secure the starting shooting guard spot. Rather, the vision was to add some defense to the starting lineup and hope that Huerter would have a Klay-Thompson-like experience coming off the bench for the Kings. 

With Huerter, Trey Lyles, and Sasha Vezenkov all out at the same time, the Kings are missing plenty of three-point shooting that is difficult to replace. Fortunately, Vezenkov seems close to returning to the lineup. 

Stanford doctor suggests Huerter could be back by the end of the season

In light of this huge injury in the midst of the Kings’ playoff chase, NBC Sports’ Tristi Rodriguez sat down with Stanford Medicine’s Dr. Michael T. Freehill to get a better idea of what to expect. 

Obviously, this is not the same as an official injury update, but it is the most we have heard so far. The postseason starts on April 16 this season with the Play-In Tournament. With a costly loss to the Wizards, the Kings are currently in Play-In Tournament territory alongside the Suns, Lakers, and Warriors, and might have to be ready by then. 

Dr. Freehill told NBC Sports that these types of injuries can take anywhere between ten days and three weeks to get better. He estimated in Huerter’s case, however, “I think he’ll get back before the end of the season.” 

While that is encouraging to hear, we shouldn’t get too excited. Even if Huerter returns in time for the postseason, he might not be in the best shape. Shoulder injuries are tough for shooters, and it will be a while until he can participate in drills.