Wesley Matthews streak of 250 consecutive games played will officially end Monday night thanks to a hip flexor injury. It will be the first time since earning a roster spot in the NBA as an undrafted free agent that Matthews will watch an entire game from the bench.
"You don't want to be counterproductive right now. So many things weigh into whether you play, whether you sit. If you do sit, how long do you sit. I've never been in a position where I had to do that, so it's all new to me."
New is right, It will be the first time since his freshman season at Marquette that Matthews will not suit up. A stress fracture in his right foot caused Matthews to miss Marquette's January 3, 2006 game against the Connecticut Huskies. He went on to miss the next seven games before returning to the court on January 28, 2006 in a game against St. John's.
And ever since then, Matthews has played in every game, both college and pros. That's 364 games of consequence since Matthews was injured enough not to take to the court.
"If it was easy everybody would have a streak like that," said Matthews after shootaround on Monday. "It's not an easy sport that we play. Contact every single day whether it's in game or in practice. It's also a blessing. I haven't been in a situation where I've been forced to be out due to injury, so I've been lucky in that sense."
Oh, there have been injuries, but for better or worse, Matthews as always summoned up the will to play, which speaks to the significance of his current hip injury. Matthews initially looked pain-free when warming up prior to Monday's game, but it quickly became apparent once he tried to do more than shoot that the injury would keep him sideline against the Raptors.
With the streak broken, Matthews will now have time for both his hip and his thumb, which has been improved, to completely heal before starting a new streak.