Good news: Greg's knee does not appear to be swollen. He was shooting free throws after practice and receiving some coaching from Maurice Lucas.
Short post today because I spent most of practice twiddling with a new lens for my camera.
- Update: More from practice as seen by Ryan White.
- The big story today was obviously Greg's health. When questioned about it, Nate urged patience and made it clear that as a coach he's not necessarily preparing for Greg's return next week because Greg will need to be evaluated again at that time before he can get cleared to play. So between now and that evaluation, Nate is simply focused on getting the most out of Channing Frye in those minutes and maintaining as much team-wide carryover as possible from the win against San Antonio.
- When asked about Jarret Jack's return, Nate smiled and acknowledged that the players know he's coming back to Portland for the first time since he was traded on draft day. Given Jack's boisterous personality I'm sure there are a lot of guys that are eager to see him. Nate, as you might have guessed, is not focused on Jack's return so much as he is the danger that Indiana poses for the Blazers, given their recent success in the head to head matchups and their free-wheeling offense.
- Nate also told a funny story about bowling at the Season Ticket Holder event last night. He was mock-complaining because he was put in a bowling group with 3 people that bowl 3 times a week in a league, so he was at a huge disadvantage. He said he felt like one of the Blazers rookies facing off against more experienced competition. Nate also said he was glad that the television footage of him bowling showed him nailing a strike because the 8 frames before that were too ugly for tv.
- The following are Greg's thoughts from today. About 10 minutes after the rest of the gym cleared, Greg took questions for 2 minutes prior to leaving for another engagement. I'd describe his mood with the media today as melancholic, although I saw him smiling a few times during his chats with Coach Lucas. Greg was quite forceful and convincing when he repeated "I'm pushing" to get back. The questions below are paraphrased; Greg's answers are transcribed.
When do you think you'll be back?
I gotta heal myself before I can get out there and play. Right now I'm not ready. We gonna give it a week or so and hopefully I can get out there soon.
Does it bother you when people question your commitment?
It does, but I'm out here working, doing everything I'm supposed to do. What else can I do? I'm trying to do more. I'm trying to be around more. But still, it's like I never do enough.
How does it feel when you run? Is it sharp pain?
Yeah, it is. It's really... I gotta talk more with the doctors but you know right now I feel fine. But when I go out there and run that's when it hurts.
Is that because of the bone chip?
I'd have to talk to them some more.
How tough is this injury?
It's very tough. Especially [because] the team is getting down the stretch, we're in that race to make the playoffs. I definitely want to be a part of that and try to help these guys win. I'm pushing to get back. I'm pushing. There's really nothing that I can do about it except give it time and do what I'm supposed to do.
When does it hurt? Can you cut on it?
I've tried. It doesn't feel good off this leg, pushing off with my left. I wouldn't say [that it hurts when I do] anything, [because] there's a couple of things I can do where it's just sore a little bit. And I can definitely make it through that [pain wise]. But [it hurts doing] the big stuff, like running and stopping, I can't stop off my leg."
Do you feel like it's improving?
The swelling went down so it's definitely getting better. [After that], then it kind of stayed the same [pain wise].
-- Ben (email@example.com)