A Conversation With Desmond Mason
I caught up with Desmond Mason this evening and he was in good spirits. He is scheduled for minor arthroscopic knee surgery early Friday morning and is eager to get this rehab process behind him and make a full recovery and return to full basketball activity this summer. Mason, who’s in the final year of his contract, said he hopes he hasn’t played his final game in a Thunder uniform and will use these final 36 games to continue to be an veteran and emotional leader.
Q: What has the medical staff told you about the injury?
A: Not a lot changed from last night. All the major ligaments were stable and strong. There was no damage to any of the ligaments, my MCL, PCL, ACL, none of those were an issue which was fortunate. And there’s not any serious damage. Also what we found out in the MRI this morning is that there is going to be some bone bruising just because of the way the bones hit each other. A little bit of cartilage chipped off. So we have to go in and do minor arthroscopic knee surgery just to remove those bone chips so it would heal the right way.
Q: What kind of recovery time are you facing?
A: (The doctor) said the reason for it pretty much being season-ending is because it’s a six-to-eight week recovery and there’s 10 weeks left in the season. And no one really saw a huge purpose in coming back for two weeks. My goal is to get it done ASAP so I told them I wanted to get it done tomorrow.
Q: What is the recovery process like?
A: From what they told me I’ll be on crutches for a little bit so everything can heal itself up and I won’t have continuous swelling. And then after that it’s kind of strengthening up the quad muscles again and strengthening up the hamstring, basically just strengthening those muscles around that knee area again.
Q: What was your reaction when you found out the diagnosis?
A: I was disappointed. When I was with the Hornets I got that elbow in the face. It was only seven games left in the season but I had played every game up until that point. It was unfortunate and I was upset just missing those last seven games that season. We weren’t in a great position to make a huge playoff run but we were playing some good basketball. So when I heard that today, I was disappointed and I was disappointed just for the fact that we’re starting to play well. And I think that starting unit was really starting to build some trust in each other. And over this last month we had really jelled and developed a bond on and off the floor.
Q: A lot of your game is based on athleticism. How much do you think this injury will hamper what you’re capable of doing when you get back?
A: I don’t think it will at all. When I was here with the Hornets I hyper-extended the other knee. My left leg. I’m a one leg jumper for the most part and so that’s my jumping leg, my left leg. It was a similar injury. Marc Jackson took a charge and fell back into my knee. And you’re talking about a heavier guy. But it was like three weeks of rehab and I was back on the floor again. With this, the difference is they just have to go in and remove some of those chips floating around so the recovery process can happen the exact same way as the last one did. If you go in and do your treatment right and your recovery right, you should have no problems.
Q: Can you take me through the play? Do you remember the details of that exact moment?
A: I remember it. Lowry drives to the basket and it was somebody on his left side and I was kind of trailing him on his right side. He jumped up to make a layup and he didn’t see me behind him. And so I blocked a shot from behind him. As I blocked the shot he was falling backwards trying to dodge the other defender. But he fell back into me. And I felt it when he hit my knee so I was kind of able to pull my foot from under him a little bit and fell overtop of him.
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