Abdenour Abdenour
Warriors athletic trainer Tom Abdenour is hosting NBA.com's Gonna Make You Sweat: NBA Health & Conditioning section and will be answering fan questions about health, injuries and rehabilitation through the 2001-02 season.

Here are Abdenour's responses to a selection of e-mails:

What kind of exercises/treatments can I do to cure or reduce jumpers knee?
Delran, NJ

Abdenour: Jumpers' knee is a inflammation in the tendon between the knee cap and the shin bone. We see a fair amount of it in the NBA. Here are a couple of suggestions:

1. Try to heat your knee with a heating pad or hot water bottle before playing. Then, apply a bag of ice or other similar cold pack when you finish.
2. There are many neoprene rubber supports that are designed for this condition. Some of these are straps that encircle the knee. We have had good success with either the traditional sleeve or contemporary straps concept. These supports are probably available at a local sporting goods store.
3. Be sure to stretch your thigh muscles. Lay on your stomach and bend your knee as much as you can, then grab your ankle and bend it a little more. You should stretch it as much as you can without feeling pain. Hold this stretched position for 10-20 seconds, then relax and repeat 2-3 times.
4. Strengthening your knee will help also. Check out one of our earlier essays on knee rehabilitation and that should give you something good to work with. Good luck.

Michael Jordan used intense pickup games to help get him back into NBA shape. NBAE/Getty Images

I wanted to know the best way to lose weight and get into good cardio shape for basketball. For example, a former player trying to get back into the game (i.e. MJ) Thanks in advance!
Cincinnati, Ohio

Abdenour: There are a couple of things that our players do to get into shape for the season. In general, they try to restore their fitness with aerobic training. This would be include such as distance running or cross training with a stair stepper or elliptical cross training machines. Anaerobic sprint training is important also, particularly as training camp approaches. One final piece of the puzzle is playing basketball pick-up games. In the case of Michael Jordan, those games are legendary in Chicago. When Magic Johnson was playing, he would organize games at one of the local colleges and many of the NBA players living in the Los Angeles area would play. A player making a comeback to the NBA or a local YMCA should make sure their fitness level AND flexibility are both at high levels before playing at a serious level of competition.

I am a basketball player for Idaho State University and I have been struggling with shin splints. I have done everything from ice cups to getting them taped. They feel okay sometimes, but I feel as though I never play at 100%. What can I do to make them go away or to lessen the pain?
Pocatello, Idaho

Abdenour: How are things in Pocatello? As the former Athletic Trainer at Weber State College, I recall some fond memories of playing at ISU. I'm sure Phil Luckey and his staff has tried a variety of ice, heat, arch support, stretching, and rest for your leg. Keep them posted on the pain that you have, in order to rule out a stress fracture. Shin splints are no fun, particularly during the season. As I'm sure you know, this is an "overuse" injury. It also can be associated with a biomechanical breakdown in the arch. We have had some success with heat before and ice after games & practices and good arch support in the shoes. Good luck and say hello to Phil for me please.

Hi Tom, I'm an avid basketball fan from the Philippines who likes to play as often as I can. I usually play the one or two spot and I would like to know if you can recommend any exercises that would help increase my overall quickness and explosiveness. Also, could you tell me about VERT- training? Thanks a lot.
Makati, Philippines

Abdenour: Glad you are enjoying your time playing basketball. It would be hard in this forum to completely answer your question, but stay tuned. Later on this season we will be discussing vertical jump training and probably incorporating some agility work to complement your quickness and explosiveness. I know it's important for a one or two guard to be quick and occasionally surprise the opponent with a dunk, so hang in there.

I was wondering if there are any internship possibilities available for someone interested in sports medicine. I am studying health medicine at UC Berkeley right now, and I would like to find an opportunity to really see what the field is about.
Berkeley, Calif.

Abdenour: We have an intern working with us this year, but one requirement is that the intern must be a Certified Athletic Trainer. I'd suggest that you meet with Dr. Cindy Chang, the Team Physician at UC Berkeley about some things on their athletic training staff. If you need more information feel free to call me at 510/986-2200. Good Luck and "Go Bears!"

You can see the fingerbands on Kevin Garnett's two middle fingers. NBAE/Getty Images

I was wondering why some players, like Kevin Garnett and Allen Iverson, wear fingerbands, and also, where do they get them?
Burlington, VT

Abdenour: It's funny that you ask about finger bands. We have just published an essay on finger injuries that I'm sure you can review. The finger bands come from a company in Chicago called: FINGERS. Their phone number is 312/616-1322; ask for Al and tell him that I sent you.

Hi Tom. Just curious regarding weight training. What do you usually recommend with weight training on game day? Is it a bad idea? I find it affects my shooting. Thanks for taking the time. I look forward to your response. Go Warriors!
Sydney, Australia

Abdenour: G'day mate! Strength training on game day is an individual choice. Most players lift weights on our off days, but once in a while there will be one that does lift on a game day. When players get a routine they like, they have a tendency to stick with it. If a player did lift weights on a game day, my guess is that the load would not be very heavy and it would only be a "maintenance" workout. It is likely this would be done in the morning, several hours before tip off. Good luck.

Hi! It´s very good that someone is giving such good tips in conditioning. It´s amazingly helpful. Now here is my question: I have a player with great stamina but a little explosion, and I need to make him jump better, but he is returning from an ACL injury. How should I proceed?
Sao Paulo, Brazil

Abdenour: Thanks for the kind words … I'm having fun interacting with our domestic and global friends. One category of exercise that will enhance explosive jumping is the plyometric exercise. It is important to be VERY CAREFUL with plyometrics when using them in a rehabilitation situation. Check with the surgeon about explosive jump training onto and off boxes that are very high. Jumping straight up to the rim or backboard is a good exercise that is safe and challenging. We will be giving information about jump training in the future, so keep track of us. Caio from California.

Do you think eating habits are important in keeping athletes in top condition and if so can you please tell me what types of food should we avoid and the others we should eat?
Ahmadi, Kuwait

Abdenour: We have spent many hours talking to our players about proper nutrition and we hope they have learned that it is important. We recommend our players have a diet that high carbohydrates and protein but low in fat. Some of our players will incorporate carbohydrate or protein bars into their diet also.