D-Will is done with cortisone, and that’s a good thing

From the New York Daily News’s Stefan Bondy comes a report about how Deron Williams is done taking cortisone injections for the rest of the season, after receiving three rounds of treatment this year. Apparently, the injections he took in February were successful enough that he’ll be able to ride out the rest of the year more or less pain free. He’s still tearing things up since the All-Star break, lest you thought his number had dipped: 22 points per game on 47/43/86 splits, playing a game that’s looked much faster and decisive compared to the beginning of the season.

That’s a good thing, too. When I was at the Sloan Sports Analytics Conference last month, I talked with a doctor named Philip Skiba about the risk/reward factor of using steroids for recovering from injury, and the fact that cortisone shots are administered to athletes as a standard treatment. “Cortisone is something you give to someone—which isn’t a great idea either, by the way—but you’re sort of reducing inflammation so they can play, you’re not adding anything to them,” he said. They’re not a long-term solution, was his point—they’re something that temporarily reduces pain, but can lead to tendon damage if taken too often. That Deron feels healthy enough to avoid another round should be encouraging, not just as the playoffs get started but for the future.