The Trail Blazers stayed in Philadelphia for the third night in a row before leaving for Boston Thursday afternoon, so they’re sure to be straight on their Ben Franklin trivia when they get back to Portland. City of Brotherly Love factoids aside, there were a few nuggets of news to come out of Boston today after the team practiced in preparation for Friday night’s game against the Celtics.
Brandon Roy did not travel with the team to Boston, as he was sent to Seattle, along with team trainer Jay Jensen, to get another opinion regarding his strained right hamstring. Roy reaggravated the hamstring on a seemingly benign shot attempt during the second quarter of Wednesday night’s win against the Sixers.
“I went slow to fast and it just pulled on me again,” said Roy. “Now we’ve got to keep getting treatment and be patient, do what I’ve been telling other guys who are injured.”
Roy said post-game that the injury actually hurt worse than when he originally experienced pain in the back of his thigh a few weeks ago, which might be a reason why the team opted to send him back to the west coast for further evaluation.
“It felt a little worse tonight when I did it,” said Roy post-game. “Just because it shot all the way up when before it was just one area.”
Portland head coach Nate McMillan said Roy would not play in Friday night’s game against the Celtics or Saturday night’s contest against the Pistons. Jerryd Bayless will get the start in Roy’s place, at least against Boston.
On the good news front, Nicolas Batum participated in a contact practice today for the first time since undergoing surgery on his right shoulder to repair a torn labrum nearly three months ago. After the team went through a light practice, Batum played a game of two-on-two with Steve Blake, Dante Cunningham and Jeff Pendergraph. Batum has been cleared to participate in five-on-five workouts, but the lack of available players makes that scenario both difficult and unwise.
“I was just told to try to get him into some two-on-two or five-on-five if possible,” said McMillan, “but we’re not going five-on-five today, probably won’t go (five-on-five) again until next week sometime.”
Number of players aside, Batum said he got the test he needed in his first live practice by setting and running into screens with his right shoulder, shooting and playing physical defense. The second year small forward said he experienced some soreness in his shoulder afterwards, which was wrapped with ice after the workout, but that the pain was minor and not unexpected.
“I feel pretty good,” said Batum. “A little bit my shoulder (hurts) because I’m not used to playing contact in three months. I just received some screen. It will be all right. No worry. I expect that. It’s normal.”
Batum noted that the shoulder felt “very solid” and that it remained stable even after running into screens set by Pendergraph, one of the most physical players on the Portland roster.
Batum has been working on shooting and conditioning with assistant coach Monty Williams the past three weeks, which is evident when watching Batum on the court.
“It feels ok,” said Batum. “It’s getting back more and more. I feel more confident in my shot”
The tentative plan is to get Batum back in the lineup Monday when the team returns to the Rose Garden to take on the New Orleans Hornets, though there are no guarantees that will actually happen.
“We’ll talk about it,” said McMillan. “The doctors, (team trainer) Jay (Jensen), myself, Kevin (Pritchard), we’ll talk about it.”