Richaun Holmes returned Wednesday night after his second extended absence from an eye injury, sporting a mask and goggles in the Kings' loss to the LA Clippers at Golden 1 Center.
After the game, Holmes explained the severity of his injury, and says the goggles likely won't be going anywhere for the big man.
"It was tough, not to go too much into medical, but it was a lot more serious than I originally thought, the training staff originally thought before I got done what I need to have done," Holmes told reporters. "Just want to make sure I'm careful with it get as much protection as possible with the goggles and the face mask and go about it like that."
Holmes underwent a procedure to repair a right eye laceration on Dec. 9 according to Kings PR, and ended up missing seven games after suffering the injury in a win over the Orlando Magic. Holmes previously missed three games after a different injury to the same eye and a non-COVID illness.
Kings interim head coach Alvin Gentry said he would be frustrated were he in Holmes' shoes given the number of shots to the face the center has dealt with this season.
"I think he's got hit in the face and the eye and that area more than anybody in the NBA this year," Gentry told reporters in early December. "I mean if I was him, I would be a little perturbed by the whole thing. So it seems to just happen at the most inopportune times and you know he's back and he's playing well and now all of a sudden, you know, he's got a bandage over the eye again."
Now that he is back on the floor, Holmes doesn't intend on playing without the goggles for the foreseeable future.
"I don't think I'll ever play another game without goggles honestly, but the face mask, I'll stay in touch with the doctors on that and see what they feel, things of that sort, but I don't think I'll every play another game without goggles after this experience," Holmes said.
Holmes said the last few weeks have been tough, as this was the first injury of his basketball career that kept him from any semblance of activity or working out while the eye healed.
Goggles will be an added layer of protection for that right eye going forward, as both he and the Kings need Holmes to be available on a consistent basis.