Allen Iverson tweeted Monday that he hopes to return to his Turkish team in time for the playoffs at the end of March. But according to a statement from renowned surgeon Dr. James Andrews, that could be an optimistic assessment.
Andrews said Tuesday that Iverson requires "prolonged rest" totaling at least 6-8 weeks, along with an injection to treat a calcium deposit in his calf. The mass is in a "very precarious spot" because it is pressuring the main nerve and artery that go down the leg, Andrews said.
"He actually tried to tough it out and continue to play while over in Turkey," Andrews said in a statement released by Iverson's manager, Gary Moore. "However, he got to the point where he could not really run up and down the court because of increased pain. Unfortunately, he did not do himself any good trying to play through his pain."
Iverson, 35, will be evaluated on a bi-weekly basis and will not be able to return to the court for Besiktas for "six to eight weeks or more," Andrews said. After that, Andrews said he expects a "full recovery." Iverson will spend the next few weeks rehabbing in Atlanta.
Iverson signed a two-year, $4 million deal with Besiktas in November after a 14-year NBA career that included 11 All-Star appearances, two All-Star MVPs and a league MVP award. Moore said once Iverson recovers, he expects to return to Turkey for the playoffs and then will begin exploring options for next season -- options he hopes will include the possibility of a return to the NBA in some capacity.