They also said it ended Isiah Thomas' career and guys like Elton Brand were never again the same.
Of the 11 players I found with ruptured Achilles tendons in the last two decades, four (including Isiah Thomas, who retired at 32 following a ruptured Achilles) never played in the NBA again. Just four returned to play at the same level by my estimation, though Dominique Wilkins' successful comeback is notable. Wilkins made two All-Star teams after a ruptured Achilles suffered at 32 and played until age 39.
Medicine has come a long ways since then. New procedures new materials new forms of rehab.
You are right, it's shocking how fast guys come back from surgery now.....just look at Metta.....2 freaking weeks!!!! I feel sorry for guys like Wilt and Elgin Baylor who could have continued to dominate the NBA if these surgeries were available back then.