Jerryd Bayless is adamant that season-ending surgery will be his last option.
For now, the 76ers point guard is listed as questionable for Monday night's game against the Denver Nuggets at the Wells Fargo Center. Bayless has already missed four straight games and 17 of the Sixers' 20 contests with a torn ligament in his left wrist.
"I'm going to try to play," he said. "I want to play. I want to get to the point where I can play and not worry about it."
Last week, the 6-foot-3, 210-pound received a platelet-rich plasma injection in his wrist. Bayless' blood was used to promote healing in the ligament.
"They take your own blood, they spin it and they shoot it back," Bayless said.
Studies have shown that plasma injections have improved function and decreased the pain in elbows, wrists, shoulder, hips and knees, according to the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York.
But if this doesn't work, the 28-year-old needs to seriously consider season-ending surgery. Although it's commendable that he's determined to play, this season isn't worth it.
The Sixers (4-16) probably won't win more than 18 games. They're on pace to become one of the NBA's worst teams for the fourth consecutive season. And what's the point of playing in pain when, outside of the development of Joel Embiid, this season is a lost one?
It would be different if first overall pick Ben Simmons wasn't sidelined after surgery to repair a broken right foot. It would also be different if the Sixers had a healthy Nerlens Noel (inflamed left knee). Or better yet, it would be different they traded reserve centers Noel or Jahlil Okafor for a shooting guard or a small forward.
Instead, Noel and Okafor are still here despite being in trade discussions. Simmons could return as early as January. While he'll be a roster upgrade, the 6-foot-9, 250-pound point guard will be a bit behind. Simmons also needs times to get in shape while adjusting to a new position against the stiffest competition he'll ever face.
Bayless might argue that this season's on-the-court time with Simmons and his other teammates would benefit them for next season. But that's only if he doesn't continue hurting the wrist. If he does injure it further, playing this season could cause more harm that help.
That's why he should strongly consider shutting everything down.
It's not like Bayless needs the money or that he has to impress another team in free agency. He signed a three-year, $27 million contract with the Sixers in July. So he's part of their future plans.
But Bayless will tell you that it's not about the money or the security that comes with the contract.
"I think [playing basketball is] more of an outlet for myself and most of us in here," he said. "So if that was taken away for a year, I would struggle.
"Luckily, I do have other interests. But at the same time, I really love doing this."
The only problem is that things could turn out like they did for former Sixers power forward Carl Landry the longer he prolongs things.
As a member of the Sacramento Kings during the 2014-15 season, Landry missed five games with a torn ligament in his right wrist. At the time, he was told that surgery wasn't necessary. However, the pain in his wrist persisted in the offseason. And after undergoing an MRI exam in May of that year, he had to have surgery on June 2, 2015 to repair the ligament.
The Kings traded him to the Sixers a month later. However, Landry didn't make his Sixers debut until Dec. 23, 2015 because of the injury.
So Bayless would benefit from having the surgery this season. At least that would help ensure that he'll be able to compete next season when the team's outlook will be brighter.