On tonight's episode of Courtside, Portland Trail Blazers broadcasters Mike Barrett and Mike Rice interviewed Blazers center Jeff Pendergraph, who suffered a season-ending torn right ACL last Thursday. Audio of the interview will be posted here as soon as it becomes available.
Pendergraph did a solid job of striking an optimistic, upbeat tone. "I feel good," he said. "Can't be too disappointed about [the injury]. Stuff happens. You kind of have to rebound from it and attack this rehab."
Asked for his recovery timeline, Pendergraph wouldn't commit to specifics but did say he would like to return for a playoff push if possible. "If I can be back," he said, "I'll get here for playoffs."
Pendergraph said his knee surgery has not been scheduled yet. "We don't know yet," he replied when asked for his surgery date. "The doctors are still talking right now. They are deciding whether they want to do one or two surgeries."
Despite his optimism, Pendergraph did sound a little shellshocked by the past week's events. "It caught me off guard. Kind of a left field thing ... As soon as I jumped, my knee did something funny and I knew something was wrong."
He was clear that he hasn't given any time to talking about a Blazers big man injury curse. "I haven't thought about it at all... It doesn't really cross my mind too much. I feel like, tough break right now, it's just a bump in the road."
Multiple times during the interview, Pendergraph said he planned to remain in Portland and spend as much time around his teammates as possibe. "I do want to stay close to the guys. Be around them. I don't want to kind of just bail on them, just because I'm out and can't play with them doesn't mean I can't contribute." He even volunteered to come back on Courtside next week.
In closing, Pendergraph said he expects strong support from his family during the rehabilitation process. "My mom would be up here in a blink of an eye if I needed it."
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter