Mitch McGary out indefinitely after electing to have back surgery

Dylan Burkhardt

Michigan 87, Coppin State 45-26Mitch McGary is out indefinitely after electing to have back surgery, according to a University of Michigan release.

University of Michigan men’s basketball head coach John Beilein announced today (Friday, Dec. 27), that sophomore forward Mitch McGary (Chesterton, Ind./Brewster Academy [N.H.]) will be out indefinitely after electing to have a surgery performed on his lower back. There is no timetable for McGary’s return; however, the medical staff expects him to make a full recovery.

“My back problems have been a daily challenge ever since late August,” said McGary. “We have worked hard rehabbing the injury and I thought that everything was proceeding in the right direction until the last two weeks. I have consulted with my family, my coaches and our doctors and decided the best option now is to have surgery. This was a difficult decision to make because I want to be out there with my teammates. At the same time, I need to be healthy to give everything I can on the court and help my team.”

“We want Mitch to be 100 percent healthy again,” said Beilein. “He has worked very hard over the last few months and during his earlier rehab. He was making progress in practice and games; however, lately he began to experience the same pain he had when we held him out of preseason practice this fall. Our first priority is Mitch’s overall health even though I am certain he would rather be back on the court right now.”

McGary has appeared in eight games this season averaging 9.5 points and 8.3 rebounds per game. (Photo: Dustin Johnston)

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  • Chris De Sana

    Could this lead to burning Donnals redshirt?

    • Joe Stapleton

      John Beilein said that isn’t being considered at this time.

  • CZGuy99

    Get well soon, Mitch!

  • kam

    This kills his draft stock.. bigs with back problems who are older are not liked by scouts.. honestly I wonder if he tries to come back and dominate and sneak into the first round of a weak draft. I also think donnal will play now.. As for a long ncaa run? I don’t think so anymore

    • guestavo

      David Lee was the 30th pick and a Sr with leg issues entering the NBA. Mitch will be alright.

      • Kam

        legs are different than Back.. Mitch is also a year older than Lee as a senior

        • guestavo

          He’s a year younger. The point being that McGary will get his opportunity to get contracts in the league at some point.

          • Chezaroo

            We all love Mitch, but guaranteed money is just that, guaranteed. The higher your drafted the more money your slotted for. Anyone with talent that can find a niche in the League will get paid. But finding that niche isn’t guaranteed in the least.

          • guestavo

            Which is cool but the moment he came back this year, he technically lost a years worth of guaranteed money. No one would choose to have on rookie contract over a 15 year NBA career, NONE.

          • Chezaroo

            I love Mitch, but I will guarantee you that he will never play 15 years of NBA basketball.

          • guestavo

            Guys who get paid the big bucks seem to be oft wrong and don’t have your clairvoyant sense. I think I’ll time figure out what kind of career Mitch will have at the pro level.

          • Chezaroo

            Appreciate the Nostradamus inference, but the average NBA career is roughly seven years. Here’s hoping MMs will be at least that long. Go Mitch!

  • Chezaroo

    I think this is something all of us feared deep down. We will probably never know the seriousness of the injury, or how it will ultimately affect him. But I would find it very difficult to think that he will play again this year. Let’s wish him a speedy recovery. One can never look back, but this is why most kids jump on the first sniff of NBA money that comes their way.

    • kam

      Exactly.. he will most likely never be a lottery selection again… This why u shouldnt get mad kids for taking the millions.. u can always go back and get an education, but you can’t alway get top 15 pick money.

      • Chezaroo

        Feel very sorry for Mitch. Let’s hope his family has some kind of insurance policy against potential earnings if this turns out to be the worst. In the end, we are all Day to Day.

  • EchoWhiskey

    Well, it goes without saying that this is shitty news. But, hopefully this corrects whatever issue he’s facing and allows him to come back healthy and pain free. And it lets fans readjust expectations for the season as I have to assume this means he’s done for the year.

  • Ben

    Mitch to come back for Junior year now?
    I think so…..for a weaker draft & to show scouts he is good to go.
    Don’t think there is a doubt that his stock would go up if he would stay for Junior year.

    • kam

      He could probably sneak into the first round.. he’s probably to old to be lottery. I think he should come back

  • MGoTweeter

    Certainly not good news as far as the team this season but this could be the best thing for mcgary in the long run. Hopefully the surgery works and prevents this injury from becoming a career issue.

    Huge opportunity now for Morgan and horford to really step up and shine. Not sure if they burn Donnals redshirt. He did not look ready in exhibition play and the way that beilein has talked about him, it seems like he is still far off. We heard a lot of positives on levert early season last year, have not heard same on Donnal

  • Indiana_Matt

    “…the medical staff expects him to make a full recovery.” Thank goodness.

    Hate for this to happen to the kid. I wonder what the time table for recovery will be. A fully healthy Mitch for 2014-2015 could make next year’s team very good. And I don’t see why he wouldn’t still prove to be a quality first round pick, even with his age.

    • Chezaroo

      The powers that be are saying all the obligatory things. Reality is, even they don’t know what the future may be. Big men with back problems? That could play out a million different ways. Tough break for a great competitor.

  • Fab 5 Legends

    with half the season basically done, i hope Mitch dosent rush to get back for his career sake – i would be happy to see both GR3 and Mitch come back for their junior year…
    this is a big opportunity for upperclassmen Morgan & Horford to step up alongside Biefeldt

    if he came back in late February/Early March I would be pleasantly suprised & happy for a nice run in the tourny

    • mistersuits

      There’s no way either of them are back for another year of college basketball, it’s sad for us fans but that’s the reality.

      • Ben

        Disagree. I think Mitch takes serious look at coming back. Stock drops like a rock this year. If gets healthy – shoots up like a rocket next year. As for GRIII – -agree – gone.For $ (although I think its on potential only b/c he is No way ready for pt in NBA)

      • Justin

        McGary will be back. He has no choice and the jury is still out on GR3. If he plays the rest of the season like he has in the last couple games. He will be gone and will likely be a pick between 12-18. If he plays like he did earlier in the year he will be late 1st or early 2nd. I say GR3 leaves and Mitch will be back. For the sake of the team’s success, I would like to see them both return.

        Ultimately our recruiting for the class of 2015 is so important. We need game changers. Not 3 star guys who need a redshirt year. We need a couple of guys who can produce right away. They are out there and Michigan is targeting them, UM’s staff needs to lock them up if not then UM might just be stuck in the middle of the Big Ten for a while which I nor anyone wants.

        • Fab 5 Legends

          agree…i think as the season continues we shall see GR3 fate…as for next season getting McGary backw the rest of the team we would be a legit threat with or without GR3
          i hate to say it but i lost hope after hearing this news this year…dont trust our bigs to contribute…

  • pgrom

    my heart says Morgan and Horford step up and we still have a strong season. My head says we are probably an NIT team now.

  • guestavo

    Who cares where he will be selected in the draft? Plenty of players who were not selected in the lottery have gone on to have amazing careers while their higher regarded peers flamed out. I just hope he can return to full form and get healthy.

  • A2JD

    I know it’s unlikely Mitch would ever stay around that long so this would likely never come into play but what are the parameters on getting a Medical Redshirt?

    I hope he heals fast and is able to be a productive NBA player, whenever he chooses to go.

    • geoffclarke

      According to an under cited Wikipedia article, he needs to have appeared in fewer than 30% of team games, which he will have, and then suffered a season ending injury, which I’m sure surgery qualifies.

      • James Chapman

        If the rule is 30% then yes he can redshirt. He will have played in 8 of 30 games this season, thus less than the 30% number.
        I was under the impression the medical redshirt rules were 25% of a teams games during the first half of the regular scheduled season. In this case it would be over 25% even though all games played were in the first half of the season.