Before the third quarter of L.A.’s win over Detroit on Tuesday, Lakers forward Luke Walton talked to beat reporters about his sore lower back, which is expected to keep him out of action for at least six weeks.
On how it happened:
Walton: It was similar to what happened in the preseason, and I came back and it was feeling great. Then I felt a little bit of stiffness in the back, and it got worse and worse every day. There was a little pinch sensation in that back area, which I guess is a pinched nerve, and they said to pretty much shut it down and get all the swelling out of there. Hopefully this time will be the end of it when I come back.
On if he’ll be back by the first of the year:
Walton: I want to be back as soon as possible. Last time they wanted me out longer, but as soon as the back started feeling good I was begging them to let me start playing again, and they did. Obviously that was a mistake, I guess I wasn’t ready yet. But it’s frustrating to have to sit here and watch all the games; I was feeling good out on the court and having fun, but once the back goes it makes it really hard to play at this level when you can’t really move, cut and play defense the way you would like to. I’m going to let them tell me when to play this time, because last time I think I rushed it a little too quickly.
On when he first hurt it:
Walton: If I had a schedule in front of me I could tell you … but it was probably about a week that it’s been pretty bad.
On if he can do rehab:
Walton: Right now we’ve shut it down to where I’m not doing anything, until I can take the anti-inflammatories, work with (L.A.’s training staff), get the swelling down and depending on how bad it is get an injection or something like that. And then once it’s feeling better, do a couple hours of rehab every day on getting everything else strong so that when I come back, hopefully it will be ready to handle what it takes to play an NBA season.
On how long before he can resume rehabilitation exercises:
Walton: It all depends on once the low back feels better, once the muscles aren’t grabbing me every time. I can’t bend over and tie my shoe right now, that’s how tight the muscles are in the back. So once that all starts feeling better, everything’s calmed down, then we’re going to hit the rehab extremely hard.