Portland Trail Blazers returned Monday from the All-Star break with renewed optimism, but a black cloud was looming over their shoulders.
They are coming off a five-game losing streak, facing a challenging 29-game season-ending schedule, and the questionable return of starting shooting guard Wesley Matthews.
Monday night they went through a 90 minute workout at the practice facility in Tualatin, but without Matthews, who instead had treatment for his high ankle sprain, which he sustained in the final game before the All-Star break last Wednesday. Matthews is listed as day-to-day and his long-term status could determine how long the Trail Blazers' playoff hopes remain alive.
"I'm doing everything- I've done everything- to possibly put myself in positions to play. I feel optimistic about it," said Matthews.
He spent his break in his hometown of Madison, Wisconsin having a series of ultrasound, laser, and electric stimulation treatments and says there has been a significant improvement in his ankle. When he left the facility on Monday he planned on going home, sitting in a comfortable chair, and continuing his treatment. "I'm going to be sitting in my house, hooked up to something on my elbow, something on my leg. And I'll do that all night," he said.
If the Trail Blazers have to do without Matthews for an extended period of time, it will not help their dwindling playoff chances. But Matthews knows that if he can't help the team, then he shouldn't play. "If I don't feel like I can slide and defend- forget the offensive end- if I don't feel like I can hold my own defensively, I'm not going to hurt this team. Of course I want to play, it kills me."
Matthews is known as an Iron Man for his willingness to play through the pain, but he will do no service to himself or his team by continuing to play when he is hurt. As we've seen throughout the past football season, high ankle sprains are nagging injuries that if not rested, will grow worse with continued play.
If you are a basketball player and have a foot problem, call our Newington, Kensington, or Middletown office to make an appointment.
Craig M. Kaufman, DPM
Connecticut Foot Care Centers
Sports Medicine Podiatrist in CT
Podiatrist in Newington
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