Warriors suspicious of Monta Ellis’ injury

Golden State guard Monta Ellis, who recently signed a six-year contract worth $66 million, recently underwent ankle surgery to repair a torn ligament that he claims he sustained while playing basketball in Mississippi.

There were reports that the Warriors were suspicious of Ellis’ story, and we now may have an idea why.

League sources have told ESPN that there were cuts and abrasions on Ellis’ leg that are not consistent with the way Ellis said he injured the ankle.

Just over a month after receiving one of the biggest pay raises in NBA history, Ellis underwent ankle surgery to repair the torn ligament last Wednesday in Alabama and will likely be sidelined until December at the earliest.

Two experts in sports medicine consulted by ESPN.com, granted anonymity because they aren’t privy to the specifics of Ellis’ condition, said that a torn deltoid ligament is rarely seen in basketball. The deltoid ligament, the sources explained, is on the medial (big toe) side of the ankle while the structures typically involved in a high ankle sprain are on the opposite (lateral) side of the ankle. Involvement of the deltoid suggests a more serious rotational injury than those commonly associated with the NBA, the sources said.

If Ellis is found to have sustained his injuries by taking part in non-basketball activities prohibited in his contract, Golden State could theoretically attempt to void the new six-year, $66 million deal signed by the 22-year-old on July 24. But such a drastic step is considered highly unlikely as long as the injuries cause no lasting damage, given Ellis’ standing as perhaps Golden State’s most prized asset in the wake of Baron Davis’ free-agent defection to the Los Angeles Clippers.

The more likely punishments — assuming Ellis makes a full recovery from his injuries — are a fine or, at worst, a suspension.

This keeps getting more interesting by the minute. It’s may be telling that Ellis has yet to speak to the media to confirm his side of the story. If he is being truthful, you’d think that he’d have no problem doing an interview about how he injured the ankle. There’s something more going on here.

In the end, it all depends on the severity of the injury. If he was involved in non-basketball activities when he tore the ligament, and the injury will negatively impact his game, then the Warriors have every right to seek to have the contract terminated. But if he’s expected to recover completely, it is highly doubtful that it will go that far.

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