Hey, Suns fans, the guys and I are in Portland and definitely looking to keep the ball rolling tonight when we play the Blazers. We’ve won two straight since trading for Jason Richardson and definitely want to keep that momentum going.I still haven’t been able to play yet this season following arthroscopic surgery, but the rehab is going well and I’m definitely getting stronger. That was the thing I was concerned with, getting my strength back but it’s coming back fairly quick. Now the main thing following that stage of rehab is re-educating my muscles and getting back into a flow on the court. It’s tough getting a rhythm back with guys who have been playing now for several weeks and it’s my job to work hard and get into a flow back on the court with them. I feel I’m really close, though, and looking forward to being back.
I was lucky to get in a full training camp and still feel a lot more comfortable heading into opening this season, compared to my rookie season last year. The biggest thing coming in as a rookie was learning the game mentally, and I think after a year I’ve got that down. Now it’s about getting back physically and being ready to play which shouldn’t be a problem. I’ve been working hard and getting in a lot of workouts which is helping to make this as quick a process as possible.
As far as when exactly I’ll be back on the court, it will be soon but I’m trying to avoid setting a specific timetable. The doctors have been watching how I move on the practice court and listening to me when I talk about how I’m feeling. Communication is a key and I really think after getting my rhythm back with another practice or two, I’m going to be good to go.
Grant Hill and a lot of the guys have been great during this process. Grant talks to me a lot about the things taking place on the court and I think he and Shaq especially are looking forward to seeing me back out there. I’ve heard from them often on how good I looked during preseason and that helps tremendously. To hear from guys of that caliber, that they’re looking forward to seeing you on the court is big.
Looking back at how much of an effort I gave over the summer with working out every day and playing in Summer League and really going hard during preseason, I still don’t have any regrets regarding the injury. I’m the kind of player that’s always going to go hard and injuries are going to happen in this league to everybody. The bottom line is I’m glad I got the surgery over with sooner in the season rather than later and am going to learn from this experience.
We’ve got a big Christmas matchup coming up against the Spurs. It’ll be seven-straight Christmases I’ve missed with my family, so I’m hoping that with nearly a week off leading up to the contest, I’ll have time at some point to make it home and see everybody. I love the holidays and not just the holidays themselves but even the preparation that go into them, like the family being together with neighbors in the snow. That’s another thing I miss being a Midwest guy, is the snow. I don’t necessarily miss it often, but do miss seeing it on Christmas day. We were on the road last year in Los Angeles for Christmas, so I definitely didn’t see it there. But again, with that being our only game scheduled for the week I’m going to look at the practice schedule and see if there’s a way I can make it home for at least a day or two.
I guess on that note, I’ll wrap up this blog. I hope everybody has a safe and enjoyable holiday and I’ll be back soon… hopefully with a recap of my return to the court. Take care.