Update Number Two From PoorMansCommish
Here are some notes I have, mostly from my stint covering the Golden State Warriors in China for the 2013 NBA Global Games:
- Harrison Barnes from Shanghai on 10/17/2013:
“The leg’s getting better,” Barnes said, “It’s hard to put a percentage on it [when asked if it was 90% or better]. If need be I had to go today, I’d go today.”
“I’m not gonna get into specifics of (what the injury is), I mean, the biggest thing is, you know, our training staff is well-equipped for this type of stuff, just taking time to rest it, and it’ll be ready to go, and it’ll be soon,” Barnes added, “No question (I’m itching to play). No question. Can’t wait to.”
- Klay Thompson from Beijing on 10/14/2013:
“He’s good. I think (shutting him down) is more precautionary. He’ll be alright, though. He’s a tough kid.”
- Mark Jackson pregame interview on 10/24/2013:
“Not concerned for the long haul. Obviously, there is concern on when he’s going to be back, but we’re going to be very smart with the decision of when to get him on the basketball floor. Not worried about right now, but worried about the long haul and we don’t want to do anything to set him back, so important for him to continue to recover, to get the proper treatment and then we’ll forward.”
After getting the starting nod and playing 29 minutes in Game 1 of the preseason against the Los Angeles Lakers on October 5th Harrison Barnes logged only 6 minutes coming off the bench in the preseason’s second game against the Sacramento Kings. Since that game on October 7th Barnes has yet to suit up for a game. The official word on the injury report is “inflammation of the left foot.”
A day later on October 8th Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle broke the news that inflammation was the reason for limited minutes.
Mark Jackson said Harrison Barnes played only six mins bc of left foot inflammation and probably won't play tomorrow in Utah.
— Rusty Simmons (@Rusty_SFChron) October 8, 2013
For unspecified reasons Barnes did not travel with the team for it’s game against the Jazz that night. This could have been just a precaution because of preseason or maybe he stayed in the Bay Area to get the foot looked at, but Barnes did mention if it had been a regular season game he would have made the trip with the team.
Harrison Barnes (left foot) and Jermaine O'Neal (lower back) did not travel with the Warriors to Utah. If regular season, they'd be here.
— Rusty Simmons (@Rusty_SFChron) October 8, 2013
The preseason was supposed to give Mark Jackson a chance to play with his rotations and figure out how to integrate Barnes or Klay Thompson off the bench especially since Jackson alternated starting the two in the first two games. After the trip to China the team announced it would rest Barnes and let the inflammation subside. Other than the term “inflammation” not much was spoken about the mysterious injury. Inflammation is something that could be the most minor of problems where the part of the body affected has a build up of excess fluid which needs to subside or it could be the cause of ongoing issues which could make this a worrisome problem going forward. Marcus Thompson II wrote about Barnes on October 11th mentioning that the inflammation was due to all the time Barnes put in the gym leading up to training camp and preseason. The only concerning issue with that is those words were directly from an unnamed team official who also mentioned the dreaded words, “plantar fasciitis.” The unnamed official specifically mentioned that Barnes did not have such a condition or any other for that matter, but the unprovoked mention can leave a mind to wonder. Plantar Fasciitis is one of the common injuries that is associated with foot inflammation so those words come as a relief, but with unfortune expected at every turn with this franchise it could also make you cringe at the idea.
Hopefully a positive sign moving forward with this issue ESPN reported on Monday that Barnes expects to be ready for the opener. Granted expecting to be ready and actually saying you will be ready are two completely different things and until then we will just have to cross our fingers and play the waiting game. Even though Barnes spot in the starting lineup wouldn’t be worrisome as newly acquired Andre Iguodala is already expected to fill that role, Barnes is expected to be the teams 6th Man and the spark-plug it needs off the bench. Watching how the second unit has struggled to find scoring from the likes of Draymond Green, Mareesee Speights, Toney Douglas, Kent Bazemore, etc. Barnes presence off the bench is going to be crucial to the team’s success this season.
Contrary to what was reported by ESPN on Monday Marcus Thompson II tweeted out earlier tonight prior to the Warriors game against the Blazers that there is a possibility Barnes will not be ready for next week’s opener against the Lakers.
Mark Jackson acknowledged it's possible Harrison Barnes might not be ready for season opener. "We don't know."
— Marcus Thompson (@gswscribe) October 25, 2013
Uncertainty continues to cloud this situation and the Warriors unique PR moves in discussing such situations only allow the mind to wonder even more about what is actually going on with Barnes’ “inflammation” and how this ailment may be an ongoing issue.