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Blazers’ Enes Kanter Willing to ‘Push Through It’

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The Trail Blazers center stated that his injured shoulder is in pain, but he is willing to endure it in order to play.

NBA: Phoenix Suns at Portland Trail Blazers Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

The Trail Blazers post-practice media availability provided mixed reviews regarding the status of injured center Enes Kanter. After separating his shoulder in Game 5 against the Thunder, Kanter endured obvious pain throughout Friday’s activities.

Kanter met with the assembled press after practice and KGW’s Jared Cowley documented the following comments from Kanter.

“I’m not going to lie, it hurts pretty bad. I’m having a hard time changing my shirt,” he said. “It’s very tough to even just raise it above my head.”

Kanter went on to explain that the normal recovery time usually involves about a month of rehab. He also acknowledged that the Blazers don’t have the luxury of waiting that long and that he won’t let his looming free agency intrude on his decision to play.

“But we don’t got a month,” he said. “So just push through it. We’ll take it day-by-day and see how it goes.”

[...]

“We’re in a position now where you don’t think about your contract,” he said. “You don’t think about how much money you’re going to get. You don’t think about where you’re going to sign or re-sign. The only thing you need to do is just go out there and do whatever it takes to get a win.”

Coach Terry Stotts explained that the downtime between rounds will be crucial to Kanter’s recovery.

“Obviously, with Enes’ shoulder, that’s helpful,” Stotts said. “I hope so. Right now it’s too early. Good thing we don’t play until Monday. We don’t really have to make any decision until then. So we’re hopeful.”

Here is the video from Kanter’s media availability after practice (via KGW’s Orlando Sanchez):

Kanter averaged 13.2 points and 10.2 rebounds per game against the Thunder to open the 2019 NBA Playoffs. The Blazers will face the winner of the Nuggets-Spurs series in the second round.

You can read Cowley’s full update at KGW.

Update: Kanter has responded via Twitter: