Practice Report, Oct. 26: Ronnie Price continues rehab, not ready to return
Although Trail Blazers reserve point guard Ronnie Price wore team-issued practice gear on Friday afternoon, he was not officially back on the court with his teammates.
Price, his sprain right ankle still wrapped, has been shut down since suffering the injury on Oct. 12 in Phoenix and still has some mobility issues. On Friday, Price only stretched with teammates before spending the rest of the two-hour practice on another side of the court, riding a stationary bicycle and observing. Price also revealed that if the regular season began Saturday night, he would not feel ready to play.
“Tomorrow, no. Honestly no, I wouldn’t be able to play tomorrow but luckily it doesn’t start tomorrow,” Price said. “I have a few more days to rehab and get stronger.”
Although this week Blazers general manager Neil Olshey spoke optimistically about Price possibly returning by the season opener on Oct. 31 on Halloween, Price has several activity tests that he wants to put his ankle through before he can hit the floor again. At this time, Price has no problem walking but feels pain in making lateral defensive slides, cutting and figure-eight motions – all movements vital in a basketball game and a defensive-minded player like Price.
“When I feel comfortable enough to really test it, which hopefully is within a few days, then I’ll let you know if I’m capable of playing well enough to help this team and not hurt them,” Price said. “I don’t know if I’ll be 100 percent but to actually be able move and keep up with the pace of the game and that’s the most important thing is being able to contribute. Not being selfish and saying ‘yeah, I’m ready to play’ and come back and I’m hurting the team. I want to be able to come back and be somewhat of a help, as much as possible.”
“I’m a high-energy player. Defense is what I’m here for and to also run the team and be an aggressive, high-energy point guard. I have to be able to do those things or else I think they’ll do better without me.”
Ultimately, Price said, the decision to play next Wednesday night will be his.
“If I feel like I’m capable enough to help then I’ll trump anything that (the Blazers medical staff) say. If they say that I can’t play because I don’t feel or look right, well, if I feel right, I’m playing,” Price said. “If I don’t, then keep it moving.”