Kenyon Martin encouraged after latest doctor visit

Nuggets forward says he hopes to return in matter of weeks

The increments of time continue to favor Nuggets power forward Kenyon Martin.

Months of waiting to make his 2010-11 debuts have now been reduced to a matter of weeks after Martin received encouraging news Monday during an appointment with Vail surgeon Dr. Richard Steadman.

Martin had surgery to repair a torn patella tendon in his left knee in June, but the atrophy is nearly gone from his leg and his recovery is progressing without any setbacks.

“Rims are safe, but I feel good,” Martin said Tuesday. “Everything’s looking great. Everything’s positive. Dr. Steadman’s happy. If he’s happy, I’m happy. Moving along in the right direction. I haven’t had any setbacks, no pain.”

Martin and the Nuggets have not set a specific target date for his return, but Martin said he hopes it’s only a matter of “weeks.”

“Not too many weeks, hopefully,” he said. “If it was up to me, I’d rush it because I’m impatient. I want to play. (Strength and conditioning coach) Steve Hess has been excellent working with me and making sure I don’t get outside my box, because I would. Trust me, I want to play.”

Martin, who has overcome two microfracture knee operations in his career, was storming through the 2009-10 season when he started experiencing pain in his knee in early February. After playing through the pain for four weeks, Martin sat out 18 games in hopes of recovering in time for the playoffs.

Martin returned for the final three games of the regular season and the playoffs, but he wasn’t at full strength during Denver’s series against the Utah Jazz.

Pain-free again, Martin is ready to show that he can be the same guy that averaged 14.6 points and 11.6 rebounds during a 25-game stretch leading up to his injury last season. Right now, he is limited to spot shooting, weight lifting and cardio work.

“Once you can start doing more, that itch becomes greater,” Martin said. “It’s been killing me since Day 1 of training camp, so hopefully I can put that uniform on soon.”

MELO ON THE MEND: Though still not at full strength, Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony returned to practice Tuesday after leaving Sunday night’s win over Phoenix because of the flu.

Anthony said he still lacks energy but hopes to play Wednesday against the Milwaukee Bucks.

“I still feel weak,” he said. “I wanted to come out here today to try to break a sweat and get loose a little bit. I just wanted to try to find my energy.”

Anthony started experiencing flu-like symptoms last week, but felt well enough to hit the game-winning shot against Chicago on Friday night. He received fluids before Sunday’s game against Phoenix but left just 2:48 into the first quarter.

“Just sitting on the bench before the game, I was taking deep breaths,” he said. “Then I went out there and grabbed a couple rebounds. That last rebound I grabbed, I couldn’t move. I was taking deep breaths. My chest was pounding, my head was pounding. It’s tough playing like that. It wasn’t a 24-hour virus, I’ll tell you that.”


Aaron Lopez
Aaron J. Lopez is the primary writer for Nuggets.com, providing behind-the-scenes content, including feature stories and video for the site. Before joining the Nuggets in 2009, he spent 15 years covering Colorado sports for the Rocky Mountain News and the Associated Press. Follow him on twitter @Lopez_Nuggets. Aaron's full bio...