Getting Back in the Game

I want to thank all the fans for all their support through my injury, surgery and recovery. I truly appreciate it. It’s been a long road, but we’re almost there. It’s tough going through surgery, but I’ve been fortunate to have the support of the fans, and I’m looking forward to having a good season for you this year.

My knee is getting better, but it’s a long process. I’ve never been through a recovery like this for an injury like this, so it’s tough. But I think it’s a good learning experience. It’s just about dealing with the situation.

I’ve been able to play, but pain is still there. It’s tough to deal with, but comes with the territory (Getty Images).

The surgery I went through is not a common surgery. It’s not an X-and-O surgery, like if you break your ankle they put a screw in and you’re good. It’s something that’s different for every person. The recovery time fluctuates for different people.

I’ve talked to some other players about it, but there aren’t a lot of guys who’ve had surgery for their patella tendon. I’ve just been doing a lot of research, and having different trainers from college and that I know from high school even, and they’re trying to find ways to help me out.

I had the surgery in Los Angeles, and spent most of my rehab time there working with trainers and physicians. Being away from that can be hard, but we have good trainers and a good staff in Milwaukee that have been helping me get through it. That’s the main thing, having people around who can help you get through it. So far, it’s been working well for me.

The doctors said that I’m going to have to deal with pain for a little bit post-surgery. As I play in the games, it’s about getting my body and my muscles accustomed to it again. It’s not something that’s fun, but it’s the road I have to take to get healthy. I think I’m going to start doing some different stuff off the court to help it along, like acupuncture. I’m going to throw a variety of things at it and get it better.

I’m excited to be out there playing again, but I’m still not feeling the way I really want to feel. I’m still going through pain and stuff like that. It feels a little better having gone through surgery and rehab, but the fact that I’m still having pain is hard to deal with. Still, it feels good to be out there playing, and I’m optimistic that the pain is going to go away as I strengthen the muscles. I’ll be back to 100 percent and pain free soon.

Obviously, my conditioning is not the best as far as playing a lot of minutes, but also I’m still dealing with the knee and we haven’t had a lot of practice time. It’s just been game, day-off, game, and rest. Whenever I can get a rest or take it easy on it, I do, because right now, the most important thing is playing in games.

As we go through the season, I’m just trying to fit in. Missing training camp and the early part of the season didn’t help, but I try to go in there, give everything I got, play hard defensively and help offensively as well. I’m hoping to ease my way in so I can contribute.

EMPHASIS ON DEFENSE

We’re off to a pretty even start to the season, but we could be much better.

Our problem so far has been on defense. We have to, as a team, try to get better in that department. That’s our Achilles heel right now, and we’re far from where we want to be on that side of the ball. But it’s something we’ve dealt with in the past. We need to continue to tighten it up, and just get better on the details. I think if we do that, we should be ok.

If we get our defense together, we’re good enough offensively to win games. One of the reasons for that is our guard play. It’s great playing with Monta Ellis. Offensively, he draws a lot of attention and makes plays. He’s a guy who can score anytime, and also can pass the ball. It’s good to have a guy like that on your team.


Playing with guys like Monta is great for our offense, but we all need to pick it up on defense (Getty Images).

Some of our younger guys are getting a really good chance to play early because of some of our injuries. Guys like Larry Sanders and our rookies, John Henson and Doron Lamb, are doing a good job. They just have to stay focused. When you come into the league as a rookie, you have to stay focused and stay ready. Sometimes you don’t play a lot, sometimes you do. It can be tough, but you just have to stay focused and be ready to do your job.

We have a really good group here. I think it’s one of the best we’ve had here in terms of camaraderie. Guys get along pretty good, and I think in the long run, that’s going to help our chemistry and help us win.