Patty Mills had been having the best year ever. He helped his team, the San Antonio Spurs, trounce Miami to win the NBA title this year, and the Canberra native was set to start on Australia’s FIBA World Cup basketball team next month. But now the rising star is facing a shoulder injury that will keep him out of the World Cup and basketball for seven months while he rehabilitates, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.
Even worse, perhaps, for the 25-year-old star, the enforced layoff because of a torn rotator cuff comes just as he entered the NBA free agency market for the first time.
“I haven’t been through free-agency before, having this injury changes everything again,” Mills told Fairfax Media (via Sydney Morning Herald). “I have no idea how it works, but I’m guessing it will affect [my next deal]. But it’s out of my hands. It is what it is. We’ve got to make the most of the situation and move on.”
In June, the Knicks were reportedly prepared to go after Mills with roughly $3.2 million, according to the New York Post. That is more than twice the amount he was paid last season by the Spurs.
“You think nothing can deflate you [after winning a championship]. I had to find a way to process the injury news and what’s going to happen. It’s not until now that it’s sinking in,” Mills told the Sydney Morning Herald. “It’s going to be a brutal recovery process. I’ll go straight into surgery, but I’m told the next four to six weeks I won’t be able to do anything, and it will be brutal.”