UPDATE Monday, Oct. 21st at 2:30pm: Blazers head coach Terry Stotts said everyone but Pau Gasol and Jusuf Nurkic went through practice on Monday. Hassan Whiteside (left ankle) participated in practice without any restrictions.
Not only has Trail Blazers center Hassan Whiteside been adjusting to a new team and new life in Portland, but he has also been dealing with a tweaked left ankle.
An ankle injury that Whiteside suffered on two different occasions during the preseason.
The 7-footer did not go through all of practice on Saturday, but he isn't too concerned about his left ankle.
Whiteside seemed to finally be finding his groove in Utah on Wednesday night with the Blazers beating the Jazz in Portland’s fourth preseason game.
Unfortunately for Whiteside, he tweaked the left ankle yet again.
Nearing the 8:45 mark of the third quarter, Whiteside appeared to roll his left ankle while securing a rebound.
The first time he suffered the ankle injury was early on in training camp, during practice when he came down on Zach Collins’ foot after the two were battling for a rebound.
The ankle tweak in Utah was not as bad as the first one.
After Blazers practice on Saturday, Whiteside did not seem worried about his injury, saying the ankle, “Is good, man. I just didn’t do contact today, but tomorrow we’ve got optional [practice], so I’ll come in and get some more work [in].”
“It’s not as bad as last time,” Whiteside added.
Whiteside was confident in saying that he will “for sure” be able to play on opening night against Denver.
Hassan Whiteside (left ankle) didn’t participate in any contact drills at practice today but he says he’ll be ready to play opening night vs. Denver #RipCity— Jamie Hudson (@JamieHudsonNBCS) October 19, 2019
The plan is for Whiteside to participate in all of Monday’s practice including all of the contact drills.
The Blazers big man feels fortunate that he still has a plenty of time to get his wind back and feel completely acclimated.
“It affects me, because I’m missing time. Getting in cardio, getting in game shape, getting that chemistry out there, but it’s a long season,” Whiteside said.
Whiteside added that he feels comfortable with the Blazers sets and has been studying them on his phone and the team’s iPads.
The Trail Blazers now have three days before the regular season tips off with the Denver Nuggets in town. Meaning, Whiteside has three days to get that ankle feeling right before he battles Nikola Jokic.