Michigan senior Spike Albrecht and Coach John Beilein discuss the difficult decision for the captain to walk away from the game.

Michigan senior Spike Albrecht and Coach John Beilein discuss the difficult decision for the captain to walk away from the game.

Spike Albrecht continued to road to recovery will now move on without the hope of returning to the basketball floor for the Wolverines.

Releasing a statement early Friday morning, Michigan coach John Beilein and the Wolverines' senior captain issued statements, noting Albrecht's worsening health following off-season surgery on both hips.

As a result, Albrecht will continue to attack rehab with the focus on his future in everyday life, ending his nearly four year career with Michigan.

Both Albrecht and Beilein met with media earlier at Crisler Center.

"After a very long, difficult conversation with (Coach Beilein), my parents and the doctors, we pretty much all agreed it was best for me to shut it down for the remainder of the season," Albrecht said. 

"I told Coach B, obviously he knows how much I love playing basketball, how much Michigan means to me but there's more important things in life and I think we're all just kind of worried about my long term health and possibly re-injuring it or having to go through another surgery."

Appearing in eight of the Wolverines nine games this season, it was clear Albrecht had not yet returned to previous form, playing sparingly off the bench.

Coming off of a junior season in which Albrecht fought through great pain in his hips and various lower body injuries, another year like that was not something Albrecht was ready to sign up for.

"I never in a million years thought my senior year would go like this and see my playing days at Michigan come to an end like this," Albrecht said. "That wasn't a part of the plan. 

"They told me it's not an easy recovery, it's not something that's easy to come back from but I anticipated maybe I would have some flare ups here and there have to take a step back for a few days or something like that. It just got to the point where we had been doing everything we can for the last two months and it was getting worse."

Coming to Michigan as part of a star studded and ultimately program changing 2012 class, Albrecht instantly became a fan favorite embracing a role off the bench, backing up National Player of the Year Trey Burke in his freshman season.

In the Wolverines final game of that year, Albrecht took over the first half of the national championship game in 2013, scoring 17-points in a loss to Louisville.

For a career that started so unexpectedly, the finish line is far less than everyone in the program had in mind.

"For it to end this way is not something we envisioned or that we saw really coming until just recently," Beilein said. "It's something that we feel really bad for him but we've got to do what's best for him right now for his long term health."

"I look at it sort of like when somebody has a concussion, yes they could play but they might be damaged goods for a long time afterwards," Beilein added. "We've learned that lesson over time. He's got some hips right now that need a lot of help and him playing right now is not going to help him long term."

What Albrecht's long term future is off the court is uncertain, though Beilein looked at Albrecht in the back of the room and offered some good news Friday.

"I didn't tell you, you got a job offer today for as soon as you graduate there's a job waiting for you," Beilein said. "I don't know if you're going to want to take it, you're going to have to move but it's a pretty good job."

But in the here and now, Albrecht's job title consists of rest, rehab, finishing his academic career strong and playing some sort of role with the team the rest of this season.

Albrecht says he started noticing the added pain early in October when practices began, believing he could fight through the early preseason soreness. In reality, the issue became too much to ignore.

"The surgery went well like structurally everything looks well," Albrecht said. "But there's just so much damage done, really over probably 22 or 23 years and especially basketball the last few years. 

"I just think the build up of soft tissue and the damage I've done there, it's a genetic thing, my dad has really bad hips and he needs two hip replacements. I sure as hell didn't want to go down that road. I see him and he looks real bad."


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