DALLAS – Point guard J. J. Barea underwent successful surgery Monday morning to repair his ruptured right Achilles tendon.
The surgery was performed by Dr. Eugene Curry and Dr. Daniel Worrel at the Carrell Clinic in Dallas, and no timetable has been set for Barea’s return.
Barea was injured midway through the fourth quarter in this past Friday’s game in Minnesota when he drove to the basket and scored on a layup. There was minimal contact on the play.
However, as play continued, Barea stayed on the floor until rookie point guard Jalen Brunson committed an intentional foul in order to stop the action on the court. It was at that point that Mavs head athletic trainer Casey Smith and others rushed to Barea’s aid and helped him to the locker room.
After the game, the Mavs’ locker room was very somber, considering the team did emerge with a 119-115 win over the Timberwolves. It was as if they already knew Barea’s injury would perhaps end his season.
“He’s one of the really good locker room guys,” point guard Dennis Smith Jr. said. “Everybody loves him.
“His presence is going to be missed in here (in the locker room) and on the court. It’s a tough blow for everybody involved.”
A tough blow the Mavs have experienced in recent years.
Guard Wesley Matthews tore his left Achilles tendon during a Mar. 5, 2015 game against the Mavs when he was playing for the Portland Trail Blazers at the time. Matthews ultimately underwent successful surgery and eventually signed a four-year free agent contract with the Mavs in the summer of 2015.
And while many were doubting whether Matthews would be ready to play on opening day, he indeed was in the Mavs’ starting lineup when they opened the season on Oct. 28, 2015.
Because of Matthews’ unique perspective on the issue, Barea confided in Matthews about what to anticipate, particularly after the surgery.
“I was just telling him to go through every emotion that went through his head,” Matthews said. “You just have to throw that out.
“I told him you cannot be too prideful, you cannot be too brave or too masculine. There are going to be high days and there are going to be low days. There are going to be great days, but it’s going to get better.”
Barea is averaging 10.9 points this season and also lead the Mavs with 5.6 assists per game. Most of Barea’s minutes will be given to Devin Harris and Brunson, who the Mavs believe can handle the increased work load.
Meanwhile, the Mavs also believe Barea will make a full recovery.
“Wesley has done a great job of just kind of telling him what to expect and what the experiences of what he went through,” Harris said. “(Barea is) encouraged, but (Matthews) said it’s still a tough injury to come back from.”