It appears that Noah Vonleh’s increased workload isn’t solely a consequence of improved play. Jason Quick of CSNNW revealed that Meyers Leonard has been hampered by a significant discomfort in his hip. After struggling through the last week and a half, the Trail Blazers’ reserve big man shed some light on why he has been limited to single-digit minutes in Portland’s last four outings.
“It’s a very bizarre feeling to be playing the highest level of basketball while feeling like I have one leg,’’ Leonard said Wednesday. “It’s frustrating to say the least.’’
Already playing with two herniated discs in his back, Leonard received an MRI on Monday, revealing “some damage” to his hip according to CSNNW’s report. The former Illinois center goes on to disclose how the injury is hindering his play on the court.
“I can’t really explode to get rebounds, really,’’ Leonard said. “I’m just trying to hide it, trying my best not to let it show.’’
“I’m just trying to give some semi-quality minutes,’’ Leonard said. “If you watch the last couple of games it’s only been me trying to get Dame and CJ open on ball screens, get Allen open on pin downs, and get in the way on box outs … and shoot when I’m open. I’m just trying my best not to let it show.’’
Leonard also reveals to Quick that he wanted to try and play through the injury, hoping to gain some mental toughness in the process.
“I’ve just tried to hide it. I’ve got to be tougher about the situation, become tougher mentally.’’ Leonard said. “But it’s real odd to try and play on one leg.’’
Now on anti-inflammatories and a reduced workload, Leonard informed CSNNW of what the prognosis looked like for the injury.
“Basically, they say hopefully it will die down in seven to 10 days,’’ Leonard said. “And it has gotten better. On our last trip, in Atlanta, I couldn’t sleep it was so painful. But it has died down with the medication.’’
With Ed Davis already out for the season, Portland is already thin at the post rotation. Until Leonard returns to form, Vonleh will likely continue to see an increase in his minutes.
You can check out Quick’s full story by visiting CSNNW.