Evan Turner’s reinstatement to the Trail Blazers lineup hasn’t gone as smoothly as either party had hoped. Returning from a fractured third metacarpal in his right hand, the first-year Blazer has struggled to find a protective brace that allows him to play comfortably.
Turner’s discomfort reached a new level in Portland’s loss to Milwaukee on Tuesday, causing him to remove the brace entirely at one point. Today, he practiced with another new brace as he prepared for the Blazers’ game against the Knicks on Thursday. The former Ohio State standout recently spoke with Mike Richman of The Oregonian about the troubles that led to the change.
"[It's] annoying," Turner said of the old brace that resembled a fingerless glove and completely covered his palm. "It's been bugging me. I don't really get upset, but it's been bugging me to the point where I'm getting ready to throw a hissy fit. Last night was tough to not really do that. It's irritating. Or it was irritating. So, I'm glad we were able to speed up the process and kinda do what needs to be done."
This will be the third brace in four games for Turner, but he was optimistic about the new device after practice.
"I thought I shot it pretty well; three-point shot's gonna look how it's gonna look but the mid-range was world class," Turner deadpanned. "I think I'm getting back to form."
Turner is currently shooting 42.4 percent from the field this season, but he has only connected on four of his 21 shots since rejoining the rotation. According to Richman’s report, the new device doesn’t cover Turner’s palm, hopefully reducing some of the awkwardness the forward is experiencing.
He’ll get plenty of first-hand experience with the brace in the friendly confines of Moda Center, where his Blazers play five of their next six games.