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Blazers F Nicolas Batum Will Play Saturday Vs. Nuggets After Bone Contusion In Left Knee


Update (Saturday): Portland Trail Blazers forward Nicolas Batum will play in Saturday's game against the Denver Nuggets, according to Joe Freeman of The Oregonian from Saturday morning's shootaround.

Batum sat out the last two games with a bone contusion on his left knee after suffering the injury in the closing minutes of Monday night's loss to the Utah Jazz.

Update (Tuesday): The Portland Trail Blazers announced on Tuesday that Batum's MRI revealed a bone contusion on his left knee. Batum is listed as out for Wednesday's home game against the Charlotte Bobcats and he will be re-evaluated later this week. Batum is currently listed as day-to-day.

Click through for the back story on the injury and video if you missed it.

-- Ben Golliver | | Twitter

Batum said he watched the video of the injury 20 times and was concerned that his season would be lost due to injury. He said he felt very relieved, is dealing with only a bit of swelling and that he will travel with the team to Sacramento for Thursday's game against the Kings, although it's not yet clear whether he will be available to play.

The coincidence on this is pretty crazy: Batum received an MRI with an identical result ("bone contusion") on the same left knee on January 28, 2011. One year and three days ago. He said last year's injury was a knee-on-knee bruise while this one was a little bit different because it occurred with some twisting.

Batum spoke briefly with reporters at the Practice Facility on Tuesday. Here are some quotes...

"When I came home and seen the video, it was like, 'I'm done for the season.' I couldn't sleep last night. I was very scared. On the video, I know something happened... It's a big deal. It's a big deal for me. I was scared and I was so happy after that [MRI result]... [I have] a little bit [of swelling] ... [Last's year's] was a different thing... I just received a hit... [This year] it just twist a little bit. Not a big deal... I watched the video 20 times."

On the knee injury's impact on playing for French team & the timing regarding no contract extension and set to be a restricted free agent this summer

"The Olympics. Most important... The coach called me, Ian Mahinmi called me last night at 4 a.m. Tony [Parker] texted me. Everybody."

The contract situation didn't cross your mind given the timing?

"After that. First thing was the Olympics. Really. Contract was after. My first thing was, 'I'm going to miss the Olympics.' This [Blazers] team went first also. I don't want to miss games. I don't like to be on the side in a suit watching..."


Original Post (Monday):

Portland Trail Blazers forward Nicolas Batum left the court during the fourth quarter of a Monday night game against the Utah Jazz with a left knee injury.

Batum went to the floor in pain while driving to his right with the Blazers down, 89-87, with 24 seconds remaining in the game. Batum dribbled past Jazz forward C.J. Miles but fell as he tried to turn the corner, slipping to the court, losing control of the ball and immediately clutching his left leg in pain. At the first dead ball, Blazers trainer Jay Jensen attended to him and he was helped to the locker room. Batum left the court with 15 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal and 1 block on 5-for-9 shooting in 31 minutes.

"I don't know," Blazers coach Nate McMillan said during a post-game interview televised by Comcast SportsNet Northwest. "I haven't even checked on Nic. He got tripped and I don't know if he had knee on knee or what happened on that play... We wanted to see if Nic could get to the basket quickly. The hand off was there. He was trying to get there and tripped."

The Blazers announced in a text message to the media that Batum will undergo an MRI on his left knee in Portland on Tuesday.

Joe Freeman of The Oregonian reported that Batum said after the game that he is feeling pain "in his left knee is on the outside, near his kneecap." He further reported that Batum said he was a "little" worried but that he said, "I don't think it will be too bad. But we'll see tomorrow." Chris Haynes of reported that Batum said that, "on a scale from 1 to 10, the pain in his knee is a 5. Says he just twisted it."

Batum, 23, is averaging 11.2 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1 assist in 24.9 minutes per game off of Portland's bench this season. Batum's only previous serious injury as a member of the Blazers came at the beginning of the 2009-2010 season, when he underwent surgery on his shoulder.

Here's the video of Blazers forward Nicolas Batum's apparent left knee injury.

Updates on Batum's status as soon as they are available.

The Jazz held on to win, 93-89, dropping the Blazers to 12-9 on the season.

-- Ben Golliver | | Twitter