CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Roy Williams is facing a second consecutive summer without his standard allotment of golf rounds due to the possibility of knee replacement surgery.
The Hall of Fame head coach had two knee surgeries last summer which failed to deliver the desired results. After hobbling around at times throughout his team’s run to the national championship game last week in Houston, Williams told reporters on Tuesday that he’s inquiring about a second round of knee surgeries.
“It looks like the next step is knee replacement,” Williams said. “So I have appointments already set up with four doctors. I’m going to talk to four different people and I’m going to ask them, ‘What would you do if this were your knees that we were looking at on these X-rays?’ And the next question is, ‘What would you do if this were your son’s knees?’ Because I might do something and I’d want my son to do something different.
“I want those doctors to tell me the same dadgum thing.”
Williams said he’s bone-on-bone on the medial side (interior) of his knees. He’s looking at potential replacements for both knees. His right knee is in worse shape, requiring a brace over the past year.
During the early part of the season, Williams said he had to sit down on the bench for 30 seconds here and there, but toward the latter part, he wasn’t having to do that as much.
“I don’t know if its that my knee got better, the brace helped it more, or I was just stubborn and wouldn’t sit down,” Williams said. “I don’t know which one it was. It could have been all of the above.”
He’s already had four sets of cortisone shots in his knees and has a fifth batch scheduled for Wednesday morning. If the shot provides adequate relief to allow him to play golf for the next three weeks, he will consider putting off the surgery for a while. If golf isn’t in the cards, Williams said he may do the surgery immediately after.
Williams has received countless opinions and advice from friends, family and random strangers on the benefits and consequences of knee replacement surgery.
“Right now, the score is 87-13,” Williams said. “I’ve talked to 100 people and 87 loved it and 13 were negative.”
He even sought out Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski before the regular season finale in Durham to discuss their knee troubles.
“When we started to shake hands over in Cameron, I said, ‘Are you going to have your knee replaced?’” Williams said. “He said, ‘Yeah.’ He said, ‘Are you?’ And I said, ‘Yeah, why don’t you go first so you can be the guinea pig?’ That’s exactly what I said.”
Krzyzewski had his left knee replaced on April 3 at Duke hospital. Michael Bolognesi, the orthopaedic surgeon who performed the surgery, is one of the four specialists Williams is scheduled to consult in the coming weeks.