Injury Update: Steve Blake

Lakers backup point guard Steve Blake was originally diagnosed with an abdominal strain on Nov. 12. He said he first injured the muscle against Detroit on Nov. 4, but re-aggravated it on Nov. 11 against Sacramento.

During this period, Blake developed complications to his abductor, located closer to the groin muscle, according to team doctor Steve Lombardo. He received a platelet rich plasma (PRP) injection, yet continued to have symptoms. At that time, surgery was recommended by Dr. Craig Smith.

He underwent surgery on Dec. 5 to repair the torn abdominal muscle and was expected to be out approximately 6-8 weeks.

“It’s not a typical basketball injury,” Lombardo said. “Shaq (O’Neal) had a minor variant of it, but we had him better over a six-week period. Most players will get better with conservative measures. In my tenure with the team, this is my first time a player needed surgery.”

After surgery and during rehab, Blake still experienced more pain along the abductor, and received another PRP injection on Friday, Jan. 11.

“It hasn’t responded well to that yet,” Blake said after practice on Wednesday. “But the doctors said it’d take a week or two to kick in. I’m hoping that’ll work.”

Lombardo maintains the original tear along the rectus abdominus (abs) that Blake has “symptomatically improved” from it. The other muscle, the abductor, is where Blake is experiencing complications.

The training staff will continue to monitor Blake and his progress. If he does not improve, Lombardo said Blake will see Smith, and Dr. Bill Brown, a hernia specialist, to assess whether anything else needs to be done.

“My initial injury was a small tear on my lower abdominal muscle,” Blake explained. “When you have a sports hernia like that, the abductor muscle in your groins work with the abdominal muscles, so I fixed the one area and didn’t realize I was in that much pain for the other problem, until I fixed the other one. It was unfortunate.”