Forward Chandler Parsons will not be cleared to play in the Memphis Grizzlies' season opener as the team continues to exercise caution in his return from the second surgery on his right knee, coach David Fizdale told reporters Monday.
The knee was the primary reason that the Dallas Mavericks did not attempt to re-sign Parsons, who signed a four-year, $94 million maximum contract with the Grizzlies in free agency. Parsons had season-ending surgeries on the knee each of the past two years.
Parsons began full participation in Grizzlies practices last week and hoped to be cleared to play in the opener. He told ESPN over the weekend that he was experiencing "no problems at all with the knee." However, Parsons understood that the Grizzlies would err on the side of caution after making such a major financial investment in him, plus he needs to work his way into basketball shape.
Fizdale also told reporters that center Marc Gasol would have a minutes restriction early in the season. Gasol had season-ending surgery in February to replace a non-displaced Type II fracture of the navicular bone of his right foot. He had a bone bruise in the foot during the preseason that the team said was not related to the previous injury.
Parsons had surgery to repair the meniscus in his right knee in May. He had hybrid microfracture surgery on the knee the previous spring and was on a strict minutes restriction for the first two months of the season.
Parsons, who turns 28 on Tuesday, recovered to play the best basketball of his career last season. He averaged 18.9 points, 5.9 rebounds and 3.2 assists while shooting 51.9 percent from the floor and 47.7 percent from 3-point range over a two-month stretch before re-injuring the knee.