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Robin Lopez admits he’s not the same player physically

Nov 11, 2010, 12:36 PM EDT

Image (1) RLopez_dunk-thumb-250x393-12133.jpg for post 2107

We’ve detailed how Robin Lopez is off to a slow start this season, which is bad news for a Suns team that is tissue paper inside without him.

Now he has fessed up to why the slow start — while his back isn’t painful from last year’s bulging disc issue, he’s never fully regained his athleticism after it, as reported by Paul Coro at the Arizona Republic.

“I think I’m not quite as explosive as I was last season,” Lopez said. “I need to get back to that. But I also need to figure out how to play not being quite as explosive. I think it’s just part of the rehab process. I think eventually it’ll come back.”

“I think Robin still is trying to get back to his best physically,” Nash said. “He’s not moving the same as he did last year. He’s not covering the same amount of ground. It takes time. Backs are difficult and what he had is not a joking matter.”

And Nash knows a thing or two about lingering back issues.

The challenge in Phoenix is they do not have anyone on the roster who can really bring what Lopez did in terms of rebounding and defending the rim. They need him back, which means they need him to figure out how to play with his back.

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