When the Trail Blazers made their way back to Portland after a shortened NBA offseason, there were a lot of discussions on how training during a pandemic and not having as much time in the offseason as usual may affect a player's health.
There was a concern for injuries then.
And now, the concern of having injuries piling up is the main focus for Portland.
After playing two straight games back-to-back, the Blazers took Tuesday off, while Wednesday was all about focusing on getting their rest and getting their bodies right.
Following Monday’s loss to the Thunder, Damian Lillard mentioned that after Derrick Jones Jr. suffered a left quad contusion late in the game, that he and others had to play through pain if they could.
Because as Lillard said -- a lot of players are dealing with “nagging injuries” at this point in the season -- including himself.
Following Wednesday’s practice, Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts emphasized that Wednesday was about recovery for Portland’s starters and veteran Carmelo Anthony.
“The starters and Melo really just did [health and performance], weight rooms, shooting, some light work -- we did more work with the young guys… That whole group didn’t really do anything contact wise.”
The Blazers lost Jones Jr. late in Monday’s game to a quad contusion, but Portland entered the contest without Robert Covington (concussion), CJ McCollum (left mid-foot fracture), Jusuf Nurkic (right wrist fracture) and Zach Collins (left ankle stress fracture). Rodney Hood was also a late scratch with a quad contusion as well.
Covington is continuing to go through the NBA’s concussion protocols after suffering the concussion late in Sunday’s game against the Knicks.
Immediately following Wednesday’s practice there was no update on either of the Trail Blazers starting forwards.
“We’ll see how they feel tomorrow. They’re going on the road trip and we’ll see how they feel when we get to Houston,” coach Stotts said.
The team has since announced that Hood (left quad contusion) and Jones Jr. (left quad contusion) are probable for Thursday's game, while Robert Covington (concussion), CJ McCollum (left fort fracture), Jusuf Nurkic (right wrist fracture) & Zach Collins (left ankle) are out.
Now, as the Blazers try to fit in rest and recovery from their hotel rooms, Portland begins its six-game road trip.
The Blazers and Rockets tip-off at 4:30p.m. PST Thursday on TNT.