Storyline: Jon Leuer Injury

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Leuer, 28, has scheduled the procedure for next Friday and will have a four-month rehabilitation process. “It’s extremely frustrating. Disappointing, anger, all those emotions … we were trying to do whatever we could to avoid this,” Leuer told The News. “I knew even a month and a half ago when I saw the specialist that he kind of suggested (surgery) right away, but we wanted to see if we could try to manage the pain and hopefully get through the season.

“There’s a bone fragment stuck in my ligament on the inside. It’s in the joint, so it’s causing a lot of sharp pain every time I jump and run — even light running and jumping,” Leuer said. “They’re going to take that out. I had a pain on the outside of my ankle too, so they’re going to clean that up and take out a piece of cartilage. “It’s not necessarily from the (last) injury I had. I rolled it a lot; they think it’s an accumulation of things. You don’t know for sure, but the last ankle sprain aggravated it and things moved around in there.”

Surgery has been broached. Leuer keeps pushing back, hoping the ankle he’s rolled so many times responds as it always has before. “I haven’t been even trying to think about that,” he said. “I try to just eliminate that from my mind while I’ve been going through this rehab process. Doctors have said that may be the only option, but I’m not trying to think about that yet.” If surgery is necessary, Leuer is looking at another extended absence. “Hopefully not the whole season, but that’s something that … I would cross that bridge when I get there.”

It’s unclear how long Leuer will be out, but coach Stan Van Gundy indicated it’s likely not serious, but they’re being cautious. While Leuer is sidelined, Tobias Harris will start in his place. “Obviously, we’re concerned; we don’t think it’s any major problem but he’s got some fluid in there,” Van Gundy said following Tuesday morning’s shootaround at Golden 1 Center. “(Team physician) Dr. (Stephen) Lemos will look at the MRI today and then we’ll get a better idea of where we’re headed. From a comfort standpoint, he’s not able to go tonight.”

Jon Leuer was able to start Sunday’s double-overtime marathon game, but apparently couldn’t finish it. The Detroit Pistons forward came out of with 5:45 left in the first quarter of the 125-124 win over the Portland Trail Blazers complaining of a sore right knee. No official details were given Sunday on the severity of the injury or Leuer’s condition, but Pistons president-coach Stan Van Gundy said early indication showed nothing too serious. “I only got the word that was put out right away — that they were going to try and get an MRI here in the second half,” Van Gundy said. “There didn’t seem like there was any ligament or meniscus damage. “He did have some fluid in there. … But I didn’t have a follow-up email.”
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March 20, 2018 | 5:14 am EDT Update

Stephen Curry back Friday?

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry is targeting a return to action on Friday against the Atlanta Hawks, the team’s next opponent, league sources told ESPN. The two-time MVP will have his right ankle re-evaluated on Tuesday. If the evaluation reveals enough progress and there are no unforeseen setbacks from this point to Friday, the sharpshooter intends to play after missing the past five games, sources said.
3 hours ago via ESPN
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Marc Gasol said he will have questions about the direction of the team after the offseason. How will you reassure him that Memphis remains the best fit for him at this stage of his career? Chris Wallace: Marc is having a terrific career here, both individually – being a multiple All-Star, being defensive player of the year, the All-NBA recognition. And he’s had tremendous team success. So, I don’t think one off year from the team success side tarnishes what he’s achieved or necessarily is going to be the norm going forward for the Grizzlies. This happens to all sorts of teams, where you have not as good a year as where you expect to be. But that doesn’t mean you can’t jump right back in and be successful again next year and that’s what our goal is. And he’s a big part of that.
Shumpert is almost certain to opt in for next season. Having dealt with foot and knee injuries, this is not the time for Shumpert to test free agency when he has $11 million guaranteed for next season, even if he’s not a part of the Kings’ long-term plans. I’m intrigued by what Shumpert might add. He’s only 27 and has shown he can play in pressure situations, having been a part of Cleveland’s 2016 NBA championship team. Shumpert will be motivated to show the rest of the league he is healthy and that he can play a key role on a team.
Now that you’re in New York, this is a totally different market. How have you felt about the way the city has embraced you? Michael Beasley: Honestly, I couldn’t ask for anything better. For the city and fans to embrace not only the way I play but who I am as much as they did – it feels great to be able to be yourself and be accepted. I thank the city forever for that. It’s unfortunate we couldn’t win as much as we wanted to this year.
Players like DeMar DeRozan and Kevin Love have talked about that anxiety. Do you think that has helped others be more open with their own struggles? Michael Beasley: Hats off to those guys, man. More people than you think go through that. I go through it. It took me awhile to realize it because we’re raised to believe that it’s an embarrassing thing. It’s definitely inspiring for them to be honest about what they are experiencing. They opened up the floodgates, they opened up the doors, for the next great NBA player or even the next great scientist. The next shy kid with anxiety can break out of their shell because of this.
I watched your interview with Taylor Rooks on SNY where you talked about parenting your daughter, painting your nails. I thought that was super cool. Michael Beasley: [Laughs] Listen, man. I lost my hood card because I’ve got paint on my nails, bro. So that’s good to hear. My four-year-old will be five in April. Not much will change in those years. I think it’s cool. People should be themselves no matter what anyone says and how it feels. Just be comfortable with being yourself.