Interview: Blazers trainer Jensen discusses Roy's strained hamstring
Transcript of an interview Sunday evening with Portland Trail Blazers trainer Jay Jensen, who addressed a series of questions about Blazers guard Brandon Roy’s strained right hamstring.
Jensen on the Blazers’ decision to have Roy play through the injury and attempt to regain his conditioning and rhythm, rather than having him sit out:
Well, first of all, if Brandon says he’s able to play, then you’ve got to believe that what he says is true. So, when Brandon says, ‘I’m ready to play,’ then I have to take him at his word, based on the objective findings of muscle strength, flexibility, muscle endurance. So when he tells me — when he performs those kind of objective measurements that I can physically measure — and he tells me that he’s ready to play, I have to go with what he says.
Subjectively, meaning what it is that Brandon tells me he feels, are things that I can’t measure. Those are things that he tells me. So, when he tells me that he still feels it, I believe him. When he tells me that he can play, I believe him. If the objective evaluation process that we put him through doesn’t match up, then that’s where we have some difficulty. But right now, he’s got excellent strength in his hamstring; overpowering strength. He’s got very good hamstring flexibility. He ran on the treadmill 12 miles an hour at a 15-percent grade on a treadmill for an extended period of time. Recently … last week. And he’s been practicing. To the observer that’s watching him practice and watches him play, they say that he looks good. If you were to ask the players, if you were to ask the coach, if you were to ask the trainers, if you were to ask anybody that watches him, they say he moves good. But he also plays like a guy that’s been off, not playing for five weeks. So, for me right now, it’s a matter of him getting his confidence; it’s a matter of him getting his timing and rhythm down, and that’s what it’s about for me. Plus, the fact that he says with confidence, ‘Jay, I’m ready to play.’
On Roy looking near 100 percent in practice, but not during the two games after the All-Star break, and why that is:
I think it’s a combination of him trying to get his timing — he’s a guy that hasn’t played in five weeks. And he’s trying to get his timing and his conditioning down. You can’t mimic playing in a game if you’re running on a treadmill. You can’t do it; it’s impossible to do. So, it’s a process that he’s going through right now. He hasn’t played for five weeks. He’s trying to … although he can play an NBA game because of his conditioning, the basketball part of things — in watching him, it’s like a training camp.
On Roy’s original diagnosis:
He had a hamstring strain of the biceps femoris in his musculotendinous junction. That’s what the (magnetic resonance imaging exam) showed. A very small area, with no really palpable defect. But it’s definitely there on the MRI.
On whether anything has changed since the original tear:
I think I would say ‘setbacks.’ I don’t think he’s had any setbacks with this thing. And I think we want to keep moving forward. I don’t think rest right now is the correct thing to do. We’ve talked to every possible person that has knowledge. We’ve talked to guys in football that deal with hamstring injuries all the time. We’ve talked to track (doctors) that deal with track athletes and their hamstrings. We’ve been very aggressive with our treatment of him with the (platelet-rich plasma) injection. We’ve exhausted with acupuncture. We’ve done massage. We’ve done rest. He’s done an extensive rehab program to get his hamstring very strong. And he’s passed all those tests. What you cannot test is how he feels. And that’s something that Brandon has to tell you. And he’ll tell me, ‘I don’t feel good today.’ And hopefully, we’ll get him over this hump. Part of it is him learning — ‘learning’ is not the right word — well, yeah, learning to deal with a little discomfort. Because he’s a tough cookie. But when he tells you that he can play, you have to believe him. And when he says he can’t play, you have to believe him. Because if you don’t, you cannot believe him one time and then not believe him the next. But for me? The objective part of his evaluation, he’s passed all of those.