Denton: Davis Optimistic After Injury
By John Denton
December 23, 2012
ORLANDO – Unable to stomach being out with an injured shoulder and being away from his Orlando Magic teammates as they played in Toronto on Friday night, Glen ``Big Baby’’ Davis flipped off his TV set and hopped in his car for some solace.
He couldn’t bear to watch the 93-90 loss to the Raptors, but he did tune in on the radio for updates to the game. And when the team plane landed just after 2:30 AM early Saturday morning, Davis was there to greet the team and offer support. ``I just couldn’t watch it; I heard it on the radio,’’ Davis said while shaking his head. ``I couldn’t bear to watch. But I’m fine now and I’ll be OK.’’
Davis got the relief of a lifetime on Thursday when he found out that the shoulder he injured late in the game against Washington would not need season-ending surgery. Instead, he was diagnosed with a sprain that could keep him out four to six weeks. At least that’s the diagnosis of the doctors.
``I have my own timetable and it’s when Glen feels good enough to play,’’ said Davis, whose Magic (12-15) next host the New Orleans Hornets (5-22) on Wednesday.
``I might have Superman powers and come back next week, or two weeks, three weeks, four weeks or a month. It just depends on how I feel and that’s all that matters. The doctors diagnosed it and it is what it is. I’m just glad it’s not worse.’’
Davis’ injury came at a time when the Magic had a four-game winning streak and he was enjoying the finest season of his six-year NBA career. Through the first 25 games, Davis averaged career highs in minutes (33), points (16), rebounds (7.9) and assists (1.8).
However, the Magic have lost twice without their starting power forward and co-captain. Turnovers have been a major issue as the loss of Davis has altered rotations and groupings on the court. Orlando had 18 turnovers in the loss to Toronto on Friday and another 20 miscues in Sunday’s 97-93 home loss to the Utah Jazz.
``I think that we’ve had guys who have stepped up – (Gustavo Ayon) was good (Sunday night) and Nik (Vucevic) was good on the boards. We’ve had guys step up and we’ve been in position to win both games, but we haven’t done enough to win,’’ Magic shooting guard J.J. Redick said. ``It’s hard to win in this league and it’s especially hard when one of your best players are out.’’
Davis said that he was ``ecstatic and jumping for joy’’ when he was told that he would not need surgery and that he would be able to return this season. He said the injury initially knocked him for a loop because it happened when he was in the midst of the kind of season that he’s dreamed of having for years.
``You want to seize the opportunities that you have in this league because it goes by fast. This is a year for me to step into the role that I’ve always wanted and I’ve just got a little setback,’’ Davis said. ``It (stinks), but sometimes you just have to accept the way of life sometimes. It’s a curveball. I’ve worked hard to get to where I’m doing what I do now for the team and I’m going to stay with a positive mind-frame and get my rehab done and get back as soon as I can.’’
Davis said he hasn’t had any problems sleeping or resting on his sore shoulder. He even shed his sling when he attended Sunday’s game because he said the shoulder is already feeling better. He said that his macho side has him already disregarding the sling he’s been instructed to wear.
``I want to wear (a sling), but I’m such a (stubborn person) sometimes. They’re telling me to wear it and I’m like, `No, I’m fine,’’’ Davis joked. ``I don’t want to wear one because in my mind I feel like I’m fine. That’s just how competitive I am. … I just have to calm down, do my rehab and wear my sling.’’
Davis said he hopes to stay close to the team while also going through his rehabilitation drills. Head coach Jacque Vaughn reminded him during a phone conversation on Friday that he still carries the burden of being a team captain even though he’s out injured. The captain role is one that Davis takes seriously and one that he still wants to try and fulfill.
``I’m going to try to do the things that I can for the team, whether that’s sticking around and creating energy and laughter and making sure everybody is accountable,’’ he said. ``Being a captain is not just being on the court; it’s off the court (leadership) as well.’’
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