• Matt Nguyen

Norman Powell out Indefinitely After Hurting Shoulder

USA Today

Seconds after checking into the game on Monday, Norman Powell left the game due to a shoulder injury. The initial reports are that he suffered from a shoulder subluxation as his arm got caught in Rudy Gobert’s arms while in an awkward position. The Raptors have reported that he will be out indefinitely, though Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Powell would miss 4-6 weeks.

Shoulder injuries aren’t as common in the NBA. There’s only been a handful of shoulder dislocation injuries with various amounts of missed games, each depending on the damage from the resulting dislocation. The most recent example would be Luc Mbah a Moute last year. His was a full dislocation and forced him to miss 15 games early in the year. Mbah a Moute also missed the first round of the playoffs after re-dislocating it.

The glenohumeral joint (or the shoulder joint) is a ball and socket joint. It’s set up like a golf ball on top of a tee. There’s a surrounding fibrocartilaginous ring surrounding the glenoid (socket) which widens the cup that the humerus sits in. With enough force, the humeral head (ball) can dislocate and completely come out of the socket. In a shoulder subluxation, the surrounding structures are enough to reduce the humeral head back into the socket.

As previously mentioned, the number of games missed in this type of injury depends on what surrounding structures are damaged. I’m sure Powell will be undergoing imaging to determine what is damaged, particularly the labrum. If there is a small tear present and minimal instability of the shoulder, then rehab time should be shorter. Worst case scenario is for Powell to go under the knife.

It hurts to lose Powell, but fortunately for the Raptors, their depth in their wings. With players like Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green, OG Anunoby, CJ Miles and Delon Wright, they have more than enough to plug and play.

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