LAS VEGAS — McKinley Wright is bracing for surgery. He just hopes to put it off a little longer.
As he peeled off the harness that has protected his injured left shoulder for the bulk of the second half of the season, Colorado's sophomore point guard explained that he is ready to have his torn labrum repaired as soon as possible. If the Buffaloes receive an NIT bid Sunday, the procedure will be delayed a little longer.
If not, Wright will undergo the procedure within weeks. After Friday's loss against Washington in the Pac-12 Conference semifinals, Wright said he was told the expected recovery time will be about three months.
"As soon as we find out on Sunday what's going on, then that's when we're going to do the surgery. We'll figure it out," Wright said. "If we are playing, I'm going to continue to play and get the surgery after that. If not, then it will be within the next week or two."
Wright originally injured his shoulder while diving for a loose ball at practice shortly after the Buffs reconvened in Boulder in late December after the holidays. He aggravated it during the first half of a home loss against Washington on Jan. 12 and missed the next game at Utah, but Wright gamely battled through the pain the rest of the way.
On several occasions, Wright has been forced to leave games for short spells, either because he jarred the injury or needed an adjustment for the harness. That hasn't occurred in the seven games, dating back to a brief exit in a loss at Washington State on Feb. 20. And indeed, the Buffs' first team All-Pac-12 point guard said the injury has felt much improved in recent weeks.
"It feels a lot better, honestly. If I didn't have to get the surgery, I wouldn't," Wright said. "I haven't had problems with it. It hasn't been aching at all for the past couple weeks. My dad had the same thing in both his shoulder, and both of his healed on its own. I wouldn't say mine is 100 percent healed, but it feels pretty close. It feels pretty good. I prefer not to get the surgery, but it's the best thing to do."