Pistons' Villanueva says main problem is ankle locking up
He’s missed 20 straight games with the injury and prior to Saturday’s game said the main problem is the ankle locking up.
“I feel it throughout the whole day,” Villanueva said Saturday. “It’s painful, but it’s doable. I can withstand the pain, but sometimes it just locks, that’s the issue right there. That’s painful, that’s real painful. It’s funny because it comes and goes.”
Initially Villanueva didn’t feel the injury was serious and played through it during training camp.
“It was aching a little bit, a little sore,” Villanueva recalled. “I kept playing through it during training camp. I kept playing through it to the point where it got real painful. Obviously, I had to shut it down.”
Villanueva was asked if he feels he could play in a pinch and said he didn’t think so.
“I tried to do some stuff out there with Arnie and it just didn’t feel good out there,” Villaneuva said. “I didn’t feel comfortable out there. I’m still young. I still got a lot of basketball left to be playing. I just want to take care of this situation and move forward.”
Villanueva feels he’s made progress and is no longer wearing the boot 24 hours a day like he did during the Pistons recent road trip.
“I just try to stay off it as much as possible,” Villanueva said. “Just during the game is the times you don’t see me with a boot. Throughout the whole day I’ll be on a boot. The time the team was on that road trip, the four or five-game road trip, I was on a boot 24 hours. It’s definitely calmed down a bit. It feels a lot better, hopefully I’ll keep making progress.”
Villanueva has played in just two games this season and has played less than six total minutes. It’s not the start he hoped for when he talked about having a redemption year before the season started.
“You want to be out there helping the team out in any way possible,” Villanueva said. “This is something that’s been going on for a little bit now. Being out there is definitely my priority, that’s what I’m trying to do, trying to get healthy and be on the court to help this team out.”