Allen Iverson opts to rehab calf injury

Former NBA MVP Allen Iverson will attempt to rehabilitate his troublesome right calf without surgery after being examined Monday by noted surgeon James Andrews.

Andrews diagnosed the injury as a calcium deposit with additional secondary bleeding.

"It's tricky because of the location," Andrews said. "So we're going to try to treat it without surgery."

The first step will occur Tuesday when Iverson will receive an anti-inflammatory injection intended to reduce the swelling. Iverson will then be on "active rest" for two weeks, which limits him to stretching and lower-body strength exercises. Andrews estimated it will take Iverson four to six weeks to recover, "but it could take longer."

In a statement provided by Iverson's manager, Gary Moore, Andrews said Iverson probably won't be able to return for "six to eight weeks or more."

"At this point it is certainly more important to get [Iverson's] calf healed and asymptomatic than it is to try to play with continued pain, " Andrews wrote.

The injury prompted Iverson to leave his current team, Besiktas of the Turkish League, to return to the United States for treatment. Iverson signed with Besiktas after failing to receive an offer from a single NBA team.

Iverson said on Twitter Monday that he hopes to be back in time for the Turkish League playoffs.

Speculation arose that Iverson concocted the injury to get out of his commitment to Besiktas, but Andrews made a point of saying that the injury is legitimate, just not career-threatening. Surgery remains a possibility if the non-invasive treatment doesn't work.

"It's no alibi," Andrews said. "He's got a legitimate calf problem. He'd like to go back if at all possible. I wouldn't say his season is over. If we can't get it settled down, we'll have to excise it. But we'll get him back. The last thing he wants to do is not be on a basketball court."

Ric Bucher covers the NBA for ESPN The Magazine. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.