Warriors All-Star forward David Lee will be active during the San Antonio series. That in and of itself is a feat.
He is supposed to be out for the year. His right hip flexor was completely torn after an awkward land in the fourth quarter of Game 1. But not even two weeks later, he was back on the court. How is that possible?
Mark Jackson calls it a miracle. Stephen Curry calls it inspirational. David Lee calls it him doing whatever he can for his team. Many others will call it a reason to be mad at Derrick Rose. Here are the details, so you can call it what you want.
* David Lee’s injury is healing much faster than anyone thought. The fastest any of the doctors could remember someone being active after this injury was four weeks. Some football receiver was running a month after the injury, way ahead of his timeline. Lee was running in 11 days. Each day, he kept doing more and feeling like he could bring something. Then the day before Game 4, Lee went through a workout before every coach, management member, trainer and doctor. It went off without a hitch
* The opinions are split on whether Lee will need surgery or not. He’s got some saying only rest is required. He’s heard some say he should have surgery. The likelihood, judging by the people I’ve talked to, is he will have surgery. Not even he is clear how he can get back to 100 percent without surgery. He is certainly prepared to have surgery. Even if he does it in June, the expectation is he should have no problem making camp.
* Part of the logic for Lee playing is that the worst he can do is re-tear his hip flexor and negate the progress he’s made. So he’d go back to square one, which was a complete tear. If that’s the case, Lee is saying let him do what he can since after the season he’s going to have to address it anyway. There is a school of thought though that Lee should just continue to rest and let it heal. No one associated with his injury has seen anyone play so fast after a hip flexor tear. So no one really knows what could happen.
* Even if Lee plays, he is still limited. He is not recovered from his injury by any means. When he’s out there, it is on one leg. The way he described it, his right leg is dead, meaning it has no power. He can’t rely on it for support or boost. He can still do somethings, which he’s shown in practice and working out by himself. But he’s one sudden burst or awkward landing from tearing it again. Lee is clearly willing to risk that
* Jackson is caught in the middle. Lee’s hesitant clearance kind of flies in the face of how he’s operated all season. He has been very cautious with injuries and usually the pleas of a player to play take a back seat to the overall health. But Lee is moving. And he can run. And he can shoot. He’s not supposed to be able to do any of that, but he can. How can Jackson not let his guy be a bit player at least? Jackson said Lee could be available for a few minutes here and there. But don’t expect long stretches. The longer Lee is out there, the more he risks re-tearing it.
* Bottom line is if Lee can give 2 minutes, he wants to give it. If he can come in and knock down a 15-footer and leave, he wants to do that. And the doctors, trainers and coaches don’t have a medically definitive reason to stop him.