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David Lee Nearly Had Career Ended By Elbow Infection

Remember that ugly collision between the elbow of David Lee and the tooth of the New York Knicks' Wilson Chandler a few weeks ago? It cost Chandler a tooth, and it turns out to have nearly cost Lee his career.

Lee spoke recently on KNBR in San Francisco and let it be known that the elbow injury that sidelined him for nearly three weeks was more serious than almost anyone knew. Check the full transcript at Sports Radio Interviews.

On his injury:

"This injury went from something that I thought was going to be a two day situation to all of a sudden they were saying we might have to cut your triceps muscle and you’re never going to play again, to your fine. It was a very scary situation, and I learned how serious infection can be. Looking back on it, I think the only way we could have prevented was by not going back in the game in New York and just sitting out. And at that point, there was nothing that indicated it was going to be very seriously, so that wasn’t really an option."

On potentially having to have his triceps muscle cut out of his arm:

"It got to the point where they said if we can’t find the right antibiotics to counter the bacteria that you’re going to have to start getting things cut out of your arm, and you may never have the same arm to play basketball again. My left arm was my shooting arm. And really, I was only out for two and a half weeks, so all of this happened in that short of a time period, so it happened quick. I was just in disbelief half the time. I’m just glad the worst didn’t occur and I’m back able to help the team now."

Lee was a popular Knick and you have to be glad he's back playing. It's just a reminder, though, of how quickly an athletic career can be cut short.