Haase has surgery today | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Haase has surgery today

Michael Traum

Kansas senior guard Jerod Haase will undergo wrist surgery today at Kansas University Medical Center in Kansas City, Mo.

Dr. Bruce Toby, an orthopedic specialist at KU Med who earlier this season performed surgery on Kansas point guard Jacque Vaughn, will lead Haase’s medical team. The doctors will collect a bone graft from Haase’s hip and screw it into his shooting hand. He’ll have to wear a cast for three months before beginning rehabilitation.

“It wasn’t a hard decision. It was either do it as soon as possible or wait until after the Phoenix camp,” said Haase, who will be forced to miss all of the NBA pre-draft camps. “It could hurt me. I’d have to get a little bit lucky and have someone take a chance on me.

“Everyone knows how I can play. I’m extremely confident in my abilities and know I can play at the next level. I bring some things to the table a lot of people don’t – understanding the game, teamwork and hard work. If it was based on just (raw) talent alone, I should probably pack my bags right now.”

Haase, a South Tahoe High gradute whose Jayhawks lost to Arizona in the third round of this year’s NCAA men’s basketball tournament, first noticed a pain in his right wrist during the season opener Nov. 22, 1996, at Santa Clara.

X-rays at the time proved negative, but constant pain during the subsequent Maui Classic and early season games lead to another examination in early February.

Doctors found the scaphoid bone to be broken in half, along with a fracture in the navicular bone.

“It had been bothering me since Santa Clara. In Maui it really hurt,” said Haase, whose aggressive style became his trademark. “I had been taping it up every game. Then in the Nebraska game (Feb. 1), I landed it on it pretty good and fractured it all the way through. It’s split in half.”

Doctors told Haase that although surgery would be required eventually, the pain, they thought, was as bad as it would get and they cleared the guard to play the rest of the season.

He took anti-inflammatories and was injected with cortisone to help ease the discomfort.

But Haase’s ineffectiveness became increasingly apparent, culminating in the loss to Arizona, when he scored just two points in 14 minutes of action. According to Haase, a cortisone shot just days prior to the game only increased the pain and made it virtually impossible to shoot the ball.

“I knew I couldn’t shoot the ball any farther than two feet. It does bother me that I wasn’t able to be out there,” Haase said. “That was my greatest fear, not being able to have my teammates count on me. But they never held anything against me.”

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