“I’ve already came back three times too soon. Whenever I feel like I’m good enough to play to cut and move the way I want to, that’s when I’ll come back.” – Jerryd Bayless after practice on Saturday afternoon on the status of his ankle
Count me among those shocked to see Jerryd Bayless on the floor for the Raptors against the Sacramento Kings today. I woke up Sunday morning and saw the article written by Doug Smith with the quotes from Bayless after Friday’s game where he said he would definitely be playing against the Kings. I rubbed my eyes and read it again, to make sure I wasn’t seeing things.
I was confused because during Saturday’s practice, Bayless gave every indication that he would not be suiting up for Sunday’s game. When I got to the arena, a fellow reporter and a team official both laughed with me and we shook our heads at how quickly things can change with these guys from day to day.
On Saturday, Bayless was all about being cautious. Not coming back until he felt good and could cut and defend the way he wanted. On Saturday he said he had already rushed back and re-injured his ankle three times and wanted to be sure when he returned he was healthy so the ankle wouldn’t become a nagging injury that could last all season. On Saturday, he was best described as doubtful.
On Sunday, he woke up feeling fine and decided to lace ‘em up and give it a go. While he still experienced some pain, postgame, Bayless smiled when I said how shocked I was that he was playing, and told him he made it look like I was lying when I reported that he was doubtful. He said it was good enough to go and that he anticipated being available from here on out. He wasn’t overly concerned with swelling or pain tomorrow, only with getting treatment so he’ll be ready on Wednesday.
Here’s hoping he’s right. The team can definitely use his energy off of the bench.
The lesson here: Don’t go betting your house, car or kids on anything any of these guys say because how they feel and what they think one day can flip the next. I guess that’s the benefit of being young, healing fast and feeling invincible.