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Tyler Hansbrough is back after season-long bout with vertigo

Tyler Hansbrough, Amir Johnson

Indiana Pacers forward Tyler Hansbrough, left, grabs a rebound from Toronto Raptors forward Amir Johnson during the second quarter of an NBA basketball game in Indianapolis, Monday, Jan. 11, 2010. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)


It was such a weird injury. First it was described as a concussion. Then an inner ear infection. And then finally, vertigo. Tyler Hansbrough had vertigo, and it stuck with him all the way through season, amputating his rookie year to just 29 games. He wasn’t cleared for practice until a week before training camp, and then wasn’t cleared for a game until yesterday. But on Saturday, he finally hit the floor, getting nine points and three rebounds in nineteen minutes against the Magic. Hansbrough took time to recognize the importance of just getting back on the floor. From the Indianapolis Star:

“It felt good,” Hansbrough said. “It felt like it’s going to take me awhile to get in a rhythm. You can practice, but there’s nothing like getting back in a game.

“It feels good to be back on the court and as part of the team. It’s going to take me a minute to get back in the groove of things.”

The most crushing thing about Hansbrough’s bizarre condition last season was that he really was playing above expectations. For a largely fundamentals-based player coming out of college he showed great motor and a high basketball IQ, the kinds of things it’s hard to get a rookie to understand. Then, he wound up with vertigo, which I can only begin to imagine how much that must have sucked.

The Pacers aren’t particularly loaded in the front court at this point, after trading Troy Murphy and with Josh McRoberts now sidelined after a whack to the head from Dwight Howard last night. Hansbrough could get minutes in the preseason which might help him get back up to speed more quickly. One foot in front of the other, I suppose.