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Jermaine O'Neal Talks About Injury Status

Bruno has posted some in-depth comments from J.O. on injury status. His words reek of frustration and impatience. J.O. is a guy who likes to please and he knows his left knee has forced him to let down the team and fans this year.

"Obviously, I want to play more sooner than later but it's about doing the things I need to do to get back to an All-Star level and beyond that, not have to have my knee replaced at 40. It's something we kind of fought against doing, rehabbing during the season, but it's gradually gotten worse and the bone got really bruised by me playing. We're doing the things necessary to get back but I can't really give you a timetable when I'm going to be back."

"They (the medical staff) could never really do the things they wanted to do because of the swelling in the entire leg. A lot of things go on behind the scenes we don't prefer to talk about. That's why I think fans today really wonder why things sometimes look a little bit differently than what people are saying. The fact of the matter is my knee never was healthy coming out of the surgery (last May). That's basically because I chose to train and rehab at the same time. It's something I've got to put on my shoulders. I wanted to come into the season in shape and ready to go and it kind of came back to bite me because my knee never had a chance to recover and it showed."
Straight talk from the doctors about addressing the injury to avoid life-long problems captured J.O.'s attention and he knew it was time to shut it down. Apparently the swelling is down now and he's rehabbing hard.
"We're really pounding it (in therapy) and it's reacted very, very well. We've been going a-week-and-a-half, two weeks with therapy and it hasn't gotten any swelling at all. Every muscle in this leg, from the hip to below my knee, was basically shut down. I was basically playing on one leg, wearing the knee brace to keep it controlled. That was a risk I was willing to take up until the pain got too much and the medication wasn't really helping. I had to really just say, 'OK, enough is enough.' I had to think about longevity. I know not only the fans and the people in the organization but myself, I'm tired of dealing with this left leg situation. It only stays around when you don't get your full rehab and your full rest. As much as I want to play, I've got to remind myself every day to make sure I get back. I know people want to see me get back to that level, really, because I'm going into my prime and I don't want to go into my prime limping and not being able to contribute much to this team."
The worst part for J.O. is that he still doesn't know when he'll be ready to go, but it won't be anytime soon. He talks about talks about the severity of the injury in general terms but also claims all the doctors have said he will make a full recovery. But he's at least a week away from shooting and then from there a week-and-a-half from running. We're all frustrated and impatient with J.O.'s injury situation, but now you know that with the remaining uncertainty, J.O. shares an exponential level of frustration.