Sep 8, 2010, 8:00 PM EDT
It seemed like this summer the Denver Nuggets should have gotten the bulk shopping discount on knee surgeries.
Chris “Birdman” Andersen had his partially torn patella tendon repaired after playing through the pain of it most of last season. He says he may be back from his sooner than expected — possibly even the start of the season. That’s what he told the official Nuggets site.
“I’m optimistic, but I’m not going to say I’m going to be ready for opening night (Oct. 27),” he said. “I don’t want to get too anxious with it. Just keep my pace and stay on the right path.
“It’s still in the back of my mind, that fear of busting it up again. I don’t want to tear it again. I just want to get in that position where I can keep strengthening it.”
Sometimes that mental hurdle of trusting the knee again is a lot harder one than the physical hurdles.
Andersen is attacking the hurdles, though. In addition to the usual weight and cardio rehab, the Birdman is out on the court again, shooting free throws and spot up jumpers. Which is not his game. It’s going to take a while for him to be back to the high-flying, shot blocking hustle guy that has made his reputation. But if Boston taught one lesson to the league last year, it’s to be patient bringing guys around during the season, what matters is being healthy in the playoffs.
What Denver’s roster will look like by then is another question. But sounds like they’ll have the Birdman and his new neck tattoo, at least.
Kenyon Martin’s knee surgery will keep him out longer, more like the
All-Star break give or take. Because of the thinner front line, Denver
went out and got Al Harrington this summer.
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