Matthews Watches Workouts After Surgery
By caseyholdahl Posted in: WesleyMatthews
Wesley Matthews is one of those guys who is nearly impossible to keep out of the gym, so it's not surprising that he showed up on Friday in time to catch D.J. Cooper (Ohio), Gregory Echenique (Creighton), Grant Jerrett (Arizona) and Brandon Triche (Syracuse) workout for the Trail Blazers on May 31, which offered the fourth-year guard out of Marquette the chance to take a stroll down memory lane.
"Portland was the first workout that I had," said Matthews. "And I remember killing it, too."
There's a good chance that none of the players who worked out at the team's practice facility in Tualatin on Friday end up being drafted, so seeing a guy like Matthews, who had to fight his way into the league after not being selected in the 2009 Draft, might have provided some motivation.
"They work hard," said Matthews. "That's the biggest thing for these guys is to work hard. I think, when people watch the NBA game, especially at the college level, I know I did, I felt like 'I can play at that level. I can score at that level. They're not moving that fast. There's a lot of space on that court' but it's a lot faster than what you think. For them to compete every possession was big."
But Matthews wasn't in town just to catch up on the team's pre-draft process. He was back in Portland, in part, to start physical therapy after undergoing an arthroscopic surgery on his left elbow.
"They basically just cleaned out a lot of stuff," said Matthews of the procedure. "There was -- it's really hard to explain -- something called a plica and it was kind of wrapped around where it shouldn't have been, basically. So they cut that out and they took out a lot of implication that was around my bone."
Matthews, under doctors orders, took a month off after the end of the season to let various ailments heal, but the break from playing didn't prove adequate enough to improve the condition.
"You guys know I play through pain, so it's basically what I did since All-Star break and felt it throughout the rest of the season," said Matthews. "They told me to take a month off, I took a month off, got back to working out and I still felt it. So we took more procedures, went to find a specialist and a couple days later I'm cut open."
Despite having the procedure on Wednesday, Matthews seemed to have significant range of motion in his left elbow, though he noted he has to wait at least two weeks before the stitches at the surgical site can be removed. After that, he can go back to shooting and thinks he'll be cleared for full contact a few weeks after that.
Matthews also had a platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection in his right ankle, the goal of which is to reduce pain and inflammation at the site of the injection without surgery. He had the same procedure on the same ankle following the 2010-11 season.
Both his elbow and ankle will need more time to heal, which means Matthews will have to spend even more time on the sidelines, something he's loathe to do, even in the off-season. So watching pre-draft workouts at the practice facility is the closest he can get to actually playing for at least the next few weeks,.
"I'll be out here," said Matthews, "I'm rehabbing, doing all that stuff. I don't even know when the next workout is, but I'll be in the gym."