Wes Matthews on Surgery, Timetable, Draft
TUALATIN – There was a surprise guest at the Portland Trail Blazers' practice facility where the team was holding their second pre-draft workout – Wesley Matthews
The shooting guard is two days removed from having arthroscopic debridement of his left elbow, a procedure that will require a recovery time of 3-4 weeks. Matthews graced the local media with some time and info on how this came about.
Did you know you were going to need surgery?
“I had no idea. I didn't really know what to expect. I didn't know what to look at. But I'm glad that it's over and it's done with it and hopefully its something that won't come back and I'm looking forward to getting back on the court.”
How did it come about?
“You guys know I play through pain. That's basically what I did since the All-Star break and I felt I throughout the rest of the season.They told me to take a month off, I took a month off. I got back to working out and I still felt it. So we took more procedures and went to find a specialist and a couple of days later, I'm cut open.”
Can you explain what they did?
“They basically cleaned out a lot of stuff. It's really hard to explain, it's called a plica, and it was kind of wrapped around where it shouldn't have been. They cut it out and took away a lot of inflammation that was around my bone.
Can you feel any difference now?
“I had surgery two days ago, so it still hurts.
What was your reaction when you learned you would need surgery?
“I was shocked, really. I didn't think that this was going to need surgical repairs because I was able to play on it. I thought it might have been some kind of tendonitis. It was my first surgery, so I didn't really know how to respond to it.”
Expect any more issues with your elbow going forward?
“I don't think so. The doctor doesn't think so, the surgeon doesn't think so. So, I'm optimistic.”
When will you see the doctor again?
“I'll go back to see him in two weeks. Hopefully get the stitches out, get back shooting and in another couple of weeks from there, get cleared for contact.”
Where does this injury rank for you?
“It wasn't as high as you would expect. It was just the one that needed the most attention. My hip was really the most because that was the one that really kept me out of games.”
What game did you hurt your elbow?
“It was the Orlando, Miami, New Orleans trip. Right before the break was when I felt it. The New Orleans game, I shouldn't have even played in because I couldn't move my arm. But I was dumb and I did and that's when I messed my leg up.”
Were you working out prior to surgery?
“I sat a month. They told me to sit a month from when I messed my ankle up. And I waited that whole time, surprisingly. I got back to working out and I was slow building back. Something just didn't feel right. Something didn't feel right with my ankle, something didn't feel right with my elbow. So that's when I reached out to [Head Athletic Trainer] Geoff [Clark] and we got the ball rolling.”
How does the ankle feel?
“It feels better. I had a PRP injection.”
How does the hip feel?
“The hip is cool.”
What do you think about the guys working out today?
“They work hard. That's the biggest thing for those guys is just to work hard. I think when people watch NBA games, especially at the college level, I know I did, I felt like I can play at that level, I can score at that level, they're not moving that fast, there's a lot of space on that court. It's a lot faster than what you think and for them to compete every possession is big.
Any memories from your workouts?
“Yeah, it's weird. Every time pre-draft workouts start happening. Portland was my first workout that I had. I remember killing it, too...They didn't notice. They noticed a year later.”
Will you be at more workouts?
“I'll be out here. I'll be rehabbing. I'll be in the gym.”
What areas does this team need to improve at?
“We just need to be consistent...The team we had last season, we beat the best teams, we lost to some of the worst teams. It's just finding consistency, that constant belief that we can be an elite team and playing up to that standard.