It’s widely known the first game back in the comforts of your home arena is as tough as being out on the road. Tonight the Trail Blazers proved why it’s so rough with a 99-80 loss to the Sacramento Kings behind some monumentally sloppy play. Not only was the the game a bust, but more importantly the team took some hits in the injury department.
Nicolas Batum (sore lower back)
Batum was initially injured in Indiana when he landed on his heels sending a shooting pain up to his lower back. It’s been sore and stiff since. He’s received treatment in the form of massage, chiropractic work and heat therapy every day and sat out of practice on Friday to rest. But come warm-ups on Saturday night it was clear the small forward was in serious pain. He grimaced through the warm-ups but decided to give it a go during the game.
He played seven minutes in the first quarter before rigidly leaving the floor, every move more painful than the last. During the second half he headed back out, but only made it through ten minutes.
Following the loss it was clear Batum was upset. “I tried to go, I have to try,” he said of attempting to play through the pain.”Now I try to get treatment.”
This isn’t the first time Batum has faced an issue with his lower back. Last summer while playing for the French national team he encountered a similar issue. “Same thing in the Olympics, before the Olympics,” he said. “I saw my chiropractor for national team, massage like two or three times a day.”
When I asked him how long it took for him to move comfortably after that injury he responded, “Three days, but I saw the guy [chiropractor] three time a day. I’m gonna call him, say ‘Come over here.’”
It’s too soon to know his status for Monday night when the Toronto Raptors come to town, but I’ll tell you this, if he’s in anywhere near as much pain as I saw him in after the game tonight I don’t even want to see him try.
Wesley Matthews (left hip contusion, strained left hip flexor)
Wes is a warrior, we all know it. He battles through injury like nobody I’ve ever seen and he’s never one to talk about his pain. But tonight was different, and that’s not a good thing.
He took a good amount of time after the game to make it to his locker (enough for me to head out before talking to him) so here’s a recap of his injury from Jason Quick who stuck around.
“Matthews, who has never missed an NBA game in his four years, said he heard his left hip flexor pop during the fourth quarter of Saturday’s 99-80 home loss to Sacramento. That came after the same hip was hobbled a quarter earlier when John Salmons kneed him.
He said if the Blazers had to play Sunday, he would have to sit out, ending his string of 250 consecutive appearances. It’s the second longest active streak in the NBA to Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook (332 games).
The Blazers next play Monday at home against Toronto. Matthews said he would get electric stimulation throughout the night, rest during Sunday’s practice, then try to play Monday.”
Be sure to check out Quick’s full article
on Matthews’ injury.
Only Time Will Tell
So, now we wait. The Trail Blazers will practice tomorrow morning, and if I was the betting type I’d say Batum and Matthews will only be getting treatment. Then we wait some more because it’s more than likely both of these gents will be game-time decisions come Monday.