Last night during Portland’s 99-80 loss to Sacramento, Wesley Matthews went down with a hip injury and Nicolas Batum was limited by his sore back which he hurt initially in Indiana. Both injuries left the guys unsure of their statuses for Monday night when the Toronto Raptors visit the Rose Garden
This morning they both received treatment while the rest of the team practiced in Tualatin. Here’s what they had to say about their progress and Head Coach Terry Stotts’ thoughts on the possibility of playing without two of his top four scorers.
Wesley Matthews (left hip contusion, left hip flexor strain) is feeling much better
As Matthews—sporting electric cables from his hip attached to an H-Wave for electronic stimulation of his hip muscles as treatment—started chatting with the media this morning his spirits were high. He rattled off the Minnesota Vikings score and joked about how much better his thumb is feeling (compared to his hip of course.) Then he got to the nitty-gritty on his injury.
“It’s a lot better than it was yesterday,” he said of his hip. “I’m encouraged by that. Did a lot of treatment, stuff on the bike today, mobility, I’m gonna jump in the pool and we’ll see what happens tomorrow.”
When asked if he thinks he’ll be able to play tomorrow night he said, “I don’t know yet. If there was a game today I couldn’t play. There was a big jump from last night to today and I’m hoping for another big jump like that for tomorrow.”
Nicolas Batum (sore lower back) doesn’t think he’ll play on Monday
Batum’s back injury felt worse today than it did last night according to the small forward. Unable to sit comfortably, he’s continued with the massage and chiropractic treatment this morning.
As for his status for tomorrow night against Toronto, he’s not optimistic. “I doubt about it. I don’t think I go tomorrow. [The pain ] I have right now is worse than yesterday.”
Terry Stotts on potentially playing Monday without Matthews and Batum
“When two of your top four scorers are out it is [unsettling.] But injuries happen in this league and someone usually has to step in and fill the void. And that’s what the guys will do. What won’t change is the way we compete. We’ll have to do some adjustments, but every team goes through injuries and when they happen to some of your top players you have to work it out.
“Offensively we’ll do the same things. We can’t overhaul everything. Defensively we’ll stay with our same concepts, we just gotta be more precise and we can’t be lose with the ball. Every possession becomes that much more valuable.
“I would imagine Damian and LaMarcus will be more involved if those two don’t play.”