Atlanta Hawks forward Chandler Parsons suffered "multiple severe injuries" that are potentially career-ending in an automobile accident Wednesday afternoon caused by a man arrested for drinking and driving, according to a law firm representing Parsons. In a statement from Morgan & Morgan, the firm representing Parsons, the veteran forward suffered "suffered multiple severe and permanent injuries including a traumatic brain injury, disc herniation and a torn labrum."
The Hawks initially announced that Parsons had suffered a concussion and whiplash in the accident that occurred as he was leaving Wednesday's practice, and thus had been placed in the league's concussion protocol, but they didn't disclose any other details at the time.
Unfortunately, the injuries are much more serious. The driver of the car that struck Parsons was ultimately arrested for driving under the influence, though that information does little to help Parsons, whose professional career is now in jeopardy. The following was released by Morgan & Morgan:
The at-fault driver created utter chaos on the roadway, needlessly endangering the lives of countless motorists; he now stands charged with DUI, admitted drinking, had alcohol in the car with him, passed out after causing a three-car crash at 2:00PM on a Wednesday in a busy intersection, seriously injuring and potentially ending Mr. Parsons' career as a professional athlete.
"Chandler was in peak physical condition at the time of the wreck. He is now working with a team of doctors to regain his health, and at this time, his ability to return to play is unclear. Our focus right now is on helping him make a full recovery, while we also work to hold any and all responsible parties fully accountable.
Parsons, 31, has largely been relegated to the bench in recent years due largely to a series of injuries that greatly diminished his effectiveness. His knee has been the primary culprit, as a number of issues including a torn meniscus sapped his athleticism after he signed with the Memphis Grizzlies.
On the season, Parsons had appeared in just five games for the Hawks after they acquired him in a trade with the Grizzlies over the offseason, but circumstance is the biggest reason why. The rebuilding Hawks acquired Parsons only as part of a trade meant to clear a roster spot, as it sent the contracts of Solomon Hill and Miles Plumlee—similar in size to Parsons' but split across two players—to Memphis. The Hawks are focused on developing their young players, and spent two top-10 picks on players at Parsons' position in Cam Reddish and DeAndre Hunter. That has allowed Parsons to play only spot duty off of the bench. Parsons is on the final year of the four-year, $94 million deal he signed with the Grizzlies in 2016.