Back when Freddie was signed I said that it was a risk/reward decision. The risk was entirely concerning health, particularly the hip/hamstring issue. The reward would be a high impact player with the potential for a 10/10 season who could be the face of the franchise.
Today, many are taking the news of hip surgery as proof of failure. Yes, he won't be able to train with the team for all but the last few days of the season. Yes, this will particularly effect his ability to feed Jaqua, Le Toux, Evans and others.
But this is not the end, for we have yet to see the beginning. To be honest, it is better for surgery now pre-season than it would be in May, or June, or whenever. Freddie should be back for the Opener, and maybe a few weeks earlier (10-12 weeks recovery). But, he has a multi-year deal, at least two years (some places have reported a 3rd year option). It is more important for Freddie to play games that matter than to train, as would be true regardless.
So while this news is bad, it is not dire.
Dr. Marc Philippon was the surgeon and by any reading this was the best guy in North America to do it.
"Marc essentially saved me from a total hip replacement," says [Greg] Norman, a two-time British Open winner who owns a ranch northwest of Vail and designed the Norman Course at Vail Resorts’ Red Sky Ranch Golf Club near Wolcott.
"(Marc) is a pioneer in terms of bringing science to the golf course, and the flexibility of the instruments he uses allows him to reach areas of the joint that were previously inaccessible. Before I came to him these methods weren't used for golf-specific injuries, but now it’s a common procedure among professional golfers."
Philippon, 42, counts among his patients Mario Lemieux of the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins, Olympic gold medal figure skater Tara Lipinski, NBA basketball star Marcus Camby and Pro Bowl NFL running back Priest Holmes.
After her gold-medal win in the giant slalom at the 2006 Torino Winter Olympics, ski racer Julia Mancuso, 23, had her hip scoped by Philippon, who acknowledges that "skiing is a risk sport." But he adds that diagnosing the problem early and using arthroscopy can keep young athletes active and avoid osteoarthritis and eventual hip replacement.
It is notable that Camby won the Defensive Player of Year post surgery.
Our season isn't over, nor is Freddie's. It has yet to start.
We can panic later. For now its just cold outside in Seattle and we wait for 10 more players through Discovery, Draft and Transfer.