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Monday, December 14, 2009

Gordon, Bynum questionable for Tuesday

AUBURN HILLS — The Pistons are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel after suffering so many injuries early in the season.

Ben Gordon (ankle) and Will Bynum (ankles) both practiced on Monday and are questionable for Tuesday’s game at Houston.

Richard Hamilton returned on Saturday from a severely sprained ankle that caused him to miss 21 games, while Tayshaun Prince (back) is getting closer and closer to returning.

The theme on Tuesday for Gordon and Bynum was take your time and make sure you’re ready to return so you don’t suffer a setback. Both felt they already set themselves back by the way they originally handled their injuries.

Gordon sat out two games after spraining his ankle against Cleveland on Nov. 25. He played limited minutes off the bench for three games before shutting it down again and missing the Pistons last three games.

“I think it was obvious, I was out there limping around and stuff,” Gordon said. “Any time someone is out there hobbling it’s definitely probably too early. The second time around I’m just trying to get it right and be patient with it so I can help the team when I’m out there.

“I kind of have to learn from the last time, I came back a little too early, I had to come back out, so I just got to be patient.”

Bynum is battling sprains in both of his ankles, but it’s the original sprain that he suffered back on Nov. 17 that is bothering him the most now. Bynum said the left ankle he sprained last week against Philadelphia is already close to 100 percent.

“I’m feeling better. It’s more so my right ankle now. It’s back to my right ankle again, but I’m good. If I can just get over one ankle then I’m good enough to play,” Bynum said. “I think I probably should have took a break when I first sprained my right ankle, it’s kind of came back to haunt me a little bit. I’m going to play through it.”

Bynum said he can’t ever remember seeing a player have two sprained ankles at the same time in his career and admitted he had to get through a little depression over the injuries after working so hard in the summer to have a good season.

“I was depressed,” Bynum said of his reaction after suffering the second sprain. “You kind of doubt yourself and start asking a bunch of questions, ‘Why me?’ I talked to Arnie Kander, he was telling me he can see it in me. He can see me starting to doubt myself. I put in a bunch of work so it’s time to just forget about the injuries and get back to work.”

Hamilton went through his first practices Sunday and Monday after returning Saturday without getting a practice in first. Hamilton said the ankle swelled up after Saturday’s game, but he’s just going to try to play through it.

“Oh my goodness, it hurts,” Hamilton said after practice Monday. “I feel like my age. My whole body. Being out six weeks, not playing, no basketball, no contact, no nothing, no getting hit or anything, it takes a toll. I’m hurting right now.”

Hamilton played 36 minutes in his return, a number Pistons coach John Kuester did not expect him to play. But Hamilton said he felt good Saturday and wanted to stay in the game.

“The first night they was only going to play me 15-20 minutes,” Hamilton said. “Kue said him and Arnie (Kander) were like, ‘Hey I’m only going to play you 15-20 minutes.’ Once I got out there, Kue was about to pull me out, I said, ‘Kue I’m good leave me in.’ When I get out there, I hate coming off the floor. It’s hard for me to say, ‘Hey they going to limit my minutes’ because I know once I get out there I’m not going to want to come out.”

Kuester said they will continue monitor Hamilton as he recovers from the injury and make the final decision on how much Hamilton will play.

“Arnie and myself will continually watch his body language of what he’s doing on the floor and (whether) we can expand his role or shorten his role,” Kuester said. “I’m not going to lie to you, 36 minutes, I didn’t expect that. I thought it was going to be more in the 20-24 range, but I had planned on taking him out at that 5:59 mark in the first quarter and he said, ‘No, I want to play two more minutes.’ That’s where I have to make sure I’m making the right decision in regards to whether he’s playing or not playing. That was a lot of minutes for the first time being out.”

Hamilton admitted he battle some depression while he was out and now he’s trying all sorts of things to make sure he stays healthy.

“Swimming pool, ice, hot tub,” Hamilton listed as things he does after practice to help the ankle. “Today, Arnie told me I had to take a cold shower, but I don’t know if I can do that. I’m trying everything. Massage. It’s been tough, but I just have to figure out a way to get through it.”

The Pistons (11-12) have won five straight and six of their last seven despite the injuries and are getting a closer by the day to being able to show what they can do at full strength, rather than speculating on it.


Anonymous cjpistonsfan said...

It's good to read about what these guys are saying after wondering about it for a while. Thanks DP!

December 14, 2009 at 4:36 PM 
Blogger Dave Pemberton said...

No problem CJ, glad I can give you and other Piston fans an update.

December 14, 2009 at 4:41 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good article, I like the look into what Will and Rip are thinking as they are fighting through these injuries. I can only imagine what it must be like to put so much time in, especially for Bynum who is in a contract year, and come out and have to play with injuries when you are trying to secure your future.

December 14, 2009 at 4:43 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great article. I'll keep checking in.

December 14, 2009 at 5:35 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

4 sprained ankles and 2 players battling depression? Tay with an injured back? Kander telling them to take cold showers? And yet Kuester is finding a way to win games.

December 15, 2009 at 12:16 AM 
Anonymous Basketbills said...

Another great article.

Interesting to see the mental struggle that goes with an injury.

December 15, 2009 at 9:14 AM 
Blogger Dave Pemberton said...

Anonymous 1, Yeah it has to be hard for Bynum who worked so hard in the offseason to being sitting because of multiple injuries, but he should be back soon and hopefully picks up where he left off.

Anonymous 2, Glad you enjoyed the article and will be checking back in.

Anonymous 3, I think John Kuester has to be in the coach of the year discussions right now, but it's early in the season and the Pistons have a tough week ahead.

Anonymous 4, When the players say depression I don't think they mean it as anything serious, just they were down while hurt and not able to help the team. Maybe Hamilton's was a little more serious than Bynum, but it's hard for these guys, who put so much time and effort into the game, to sit on the sideline.

Thanks for reading everyone.

December 15, 2009 at 6:55 PM 

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