Nuggets center JaVale McGee enjoying pain-free recovery from leg injury

Fresh legs could mean fresh start in 2014-15
by Aaron Lopez
Nuggets.com

While answering questions on draft night, Nuggets general manager/executive vice president of basketball operations Tim Connelly noted that each of Denver’s injured players is at least a month ahead of schedule.

That list includes center JaVale McGee.

After missing all but five games last season with a stress fracture in his left tibia, McGee said he is pain-free as he continues his rehabilitation program under the guidance of strength-and-conditioning coach Steve Hess and athletic trainer Dan Shimensky.

“I feel like I’m going to have fresh legs when I come back,” McGee said.

When McGee was initially sidelined last November, he didn’t realize the severity of the injury. After trying to let the bone heal on its own, he opted for surgery on Feb. 20.

“I definitely didn’t think it was that serious, but it was,” he said. “I got the surgery, so I should be back pretty soon."

McGee’s absence created an opportunity for fellow 7-footer Timofey Mozgov, who averaged 9.4 point and 6.4 rebounds – both career-bests.

Coach Brian Shaw often joked with McGee, saying “Timo’s coming for you,” and McGee said he is looking forward to battling for the starting job in training camp.

“It was great seeing Timo out there playing hard,” he said. “There will be more competition when I come back, and whoever plays better gets the job. It’s that simple.”