The Sacramento Kings were dealt a major blow yesterday when they learned one of their major offseason pickups would miss significant time due to injury. Carl Landry will undergo surgery today for a torn left hip flexor muscle and is sidelined for the next three to four months.
“You guys found out today, but we’ve known,” Kings center DeMarcus Cousins said yesterday of losing the 30-year-old forward. ”It’s terrible news. Carl’s going to be a big piece to this team and hopefully he can have a quick fast recovery. I’ve been praying for him, praying for his family, (but) I mean it’s the nature of the business.”
Landry suffered the injury almost a week and a half ago during the Kings’ stay in Santa Barbara. The injury was originally diagnosed as a strained quadricep, but an MRI taken recently revealed the tear. Landry has traveled to Philadelphia to have surgery with Dr. William Meyers, a 25-year medical veteran with expertise in core muscle injuries.
“It’s a tough situation,” Kings forward Jason Thompson said of Landry’s injury. ”Carl was definitely going to be good for our team. He’s a guy who had playoff experience last year, was definitely going to be vocal for our team. It’s unfortunate, but I just sent him a text that just said we hope that you get back and have a fast and speedy recovery.”
Landry’s injury loosens up the logjam at power forward, but it’s stiffened the competition between Thompson and Patrick Patterson for playing time. It’s also created additional opportunities for Chuck Hayes, Luc Mbah a Moute and even Travis Outlaw to fill the minutes vacated by Landry’s absence.
“It’s an unfortunate situation,” Thompson said. “But I guess the special thing about this team is everybody from top to bottom is always ready when their name is called.”
Michael Malone echoed the sentiment shared by his sixth-year veteran. The Kings head coach likes the versatility he has in his frontcourt, especially with players like Mbah a Moute and Outlaw, who are capable of sliding over from small forward to the power forward position.
“Obviously when one man goes down, that’s another opportunity for somebody else,” Malone said. ”So as cold-blooded as it sounds, this train must keep on moving on. We wish Carl the best and we can’t wait to have him back with us.”
Losing Landry means that Malone will be without the one player most familiar with his system. Landry spent part of the 2010-11 season with Malone in New Orleans and played for the Kings’ new coach in Golden State last year.
A career 53.6 percent shooter from the field, Malone also noted that Landry’s ability to score effectively around the basket will be greatly missed.
“Carl off the bench is one of the better low-post scorers in the NBA,” Malone said. ”That’s one thing that he brought to us last year in Golden State. Both he and Jarrett Jack gave us a great lift off the bench. Carl scores down there, he gets to the foul line quite a bit and he’s a very efficient rebounder.
“Those things will be missed,” Malone added. “But once again for us, that will allow somebody else to bring something to the table.”