Bucks' Jabari Parker begins long road to recovery following ACL surgery

Milwaukee Bucks v Atlanta Hawks

Milwaukee Bucks forward Jabari Parker has a long road ahead of him after the second serious injury of his professional career, but his path to recovery began Wednesday morning.

Parker suffered a torn ACL on Feb. 8 in a game against the Miami Heat and once again found his young career derailed. The first steps to getting back on the court have been taken.

The Bucks announced Parker underwent successful surgery on his injured left knee, and is expected to miss a minimum of 12 months as he recovers. 

Parker was forced to miss his rookie season in 2014 because of an ACL injury to the same knee, making this a brutal injury for the promising talent. Structural injuries are never easy to bounce back from, and facing the same injury for the second time in three seasons will be no small task for Parker. 

Young players need to be on the court to properly develop, and losing another massive chunk of crucial playing time will be an obstacle. ACL injuries have altered the trajectories of many up-and-coming talents, and a second to the same knee is a huge red flag.

The Bucks will miss Paker's contributions in the immediate, especially as he was enjoying a career year. The former No. 2 overall pick was averaging a career-high 20.1 points per game, showing immense growth in his third year in the league. 

Milwaukee will have to rely on Khris Middleton, who only recently returned to action after mission the first half of the season due to injuries of his own. 

Can Milwaukee keep it together and still make the Eastern Conference playoffs without Parker? Let us know if you think they'll make the cut in the comments!

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