Brook Lopez hurt his foot in the fourth quarter against the Philadelphia 76ers on Dec. 20. If you remember, he stayed in the game to play overtime, but left without speaking to reporters. So when he was at the Barclays Center this week it was the first time that he has spoken with reporters since the injury.
Lopez explained how he’s been mostly bed-ridden since then which has been hard for him to keep from dwelling on the situation. The problem isn’t the injury itself, but the fact that it keeps reoccurring. This was Lopez’s third surgery in four years and the second within the past year alone.
“It’s going to work,” Lopez told Fred Kerber of the NY Post. “I’m definitely thinking that way. Some people say, ‘If this doesn’t work …’ I won’t think that. I’m definitely thinking the other way.”
“I don’t think I could go on the court and play basketball having that doubt in my mind,” he said. “We’ve done everything that we can and I can, at this point, to take care of it, and it’s been taken care of, again, like I said, to the best it can by the best people in the world that it could be taken care of.
“So it’s up to me to do the right things in this rehab and get myself back on the court where I won’t have to worry about it again.”
Lopez explained to reporters that advice from Shaun Livingston, who had a terrible leg injury himself, has helped him.
“Just remain positive,” Livingston told Tim Bontemps of the NY Post. “Keep positive people around you. Your family, your trainers, people that believe in you. That will carry over to how he approaches every day.
“The hardest part is getting up every day and doing what you’re supposed to do. Pushing yourself, remaining consistent … that’s the hardest part of every day, and that’s what I was telling him.”
Lopez was averaging 23.8 points with 6.9 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per 36 minutes with a true shooting percentage of 62.9 when his season ended. He is out for the rest of the year, but is expected back next season. Hopefully it’s not for another short stint.