Da'Sean Butler Undergoes Third Knee Surgery - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Da'Sean Butler Undergoes Third Knee Surgery

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MORGANTOWN -

Da'Sean Butler has suffered yet another setback on his road to a professional basketball career.

On Monday, Butler underwent a third surgery to repair damage to his left knee, which he first injured two years ago in a Final Four loss to Duke.

Earlier this year, while playing for the NBA D-League's Austin Toros, Butler felt pain in his knee and thought he may have strained his ACL, but tests showed otherwise.

"I had an MRI and [the doctors] were like, ‘Your ACL disintegrated, but your knee looks fine,'" says Butler. "It takes more than a few days for an ACL to disintegrate. It takes at least four weeks, but I was still playing with a knee brace and I was fine."

Butler continued to play on the knee until he was working out, he estimates it was three weeks ago, and it began to feel strange again. A few days of rest didn't help and the pain remained. After further tests, doctors told Butler he could do more damage to the bone or to his MCL if he tried to continue playing on the knee.

He spoke with his agent and decided a third surgery was the best course of action.

"I want to play basketball, so I had to do this now," he says. "If I waited any longer, I would prolong the process and push back trying to get back to my career and I may not play. We came to the decision to have the surgery."

Butler had the surgery in Cincinnati, where he will remain while doctors monitor his initial progress before he begins rehab. He is hopeful that the process will be over in January or February, at which point he could begin working out for the D-League or an opportunity overseas.

At this point, he understands those are the possible destinations and is ready to take whatever path he can to get back to the level of basketball he wants to reach.

Unfortunately for Butler, there does not seem to be an obvious reason why his previous surgeries have ultimately gone wrong.

"To me, I've had three great doctors work on my knee and I've been unfortunate with luck," says Butler. "Every time I go from one doctor to the next, they agree they did a great job, but after it gets messed up, they say, ‘Oh, they could have done this.' At the end of the day, I think it's just luck."

Luck has certainly not been on the side of a player who prior to 2010 had never suffered a significant injury. Now, the process of recovering from such a setback is something Butler has grown accustomed to.

For better or worse, he knows what he has to do to make it back to the court.

"My first two surgeries, the first week I was crying and complaining," he admits. "I had surgery on Monday and I had pain, but it wasn't excruciating because it wasn't new to me. I'm fine right now. It's not a complete shock to me, so I guess that's a good thing."

Butler says the next step is figuring out what he can do in the months ahead while basketball is not an option. Through family and connections he has made in recent years, he is confident he can find a source of income. What he does to fill his spare time is a bigger concern at this point.

What he is not doing, not even considering, is shutting down or feeling bad for himself.

"I have to move on, take it as an experience and keep going," he says. "There's nothing to dwell on. It happened again, it sucks, so what? My leg is still attached to my body and I can walk. All I can do is just move on."

For a player who fueled WVU's Final Four run and just two years ago seemed on course for success at the highest level of his sport, the string of injuries resulting from that game in Indianapolis have carved a far different path.

It is one of patience and perseverance in the face of adversity. It is something Butler has gotten used to, and must now push through a third time.

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