20 December 2009
Last week before Portland embarked on their current road trip, Nate McMillan once again fielded questions regarding the Blazers countless injuries.
But really – as McMillan can attest from his days playing in Seattle – who isn’t playing banged up right now?
While the likes of Greg Oden, Rudy Fernandez, Nicolas Batum, Travis Outlaw and Patty Mills are sidelined, the rest of the team is surely feeling some general aches and pains too. Let’s be honest, we still don’t know the extent of LaMarcus Aldridge’s tweaked right ankle or Andre Miller’s gimpy ankle. Who really knows what other injuries guys are dealing with - jammed thumb, sore back, stiff neck. Still, you have to give it to Portland for playing through the pain.
That's just the reality of the league: some guys play through the injuries. As a player, McMillan was one of those guys.
“Even as a player, I was able to go through a season and have surgery in the offseason. I’ve never been on crutches during the season,” McMillan said.
When asked as a player how often he played in games with pain during the regular season, McMillan didn’t hesitate as he remembered his bad back and bad knees at the end of his career with the Sonics.
“That’s the main reason I retired, because you are taking things to relieve the pain. You are taking medication and painkillers to relieve your pain and I didn’t want to do that anymore. It was just too painful to train and your days off, you couldn’t do anything. I started taking a lot of things to relieve the pain and a lot of players do.”
Right now for Portland, playing through the pain is their only choice.
They are trying to preserve a winning record (17-12) until they get back to full strength (last year at this time Portland was 17-11).
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