Gray status uncertain, but says ankle improving

Monday, April 18, 2011
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Hornets.com

Coming off his finest performance of the 2010-11 season, Aaron Gray remains hopeful that he’ll be able to play Game 2 on Wednesday, but compared the swelling in his right ankle to “a softball.” Fortunately for the 7-foot backup center, he still has until Wednesday evening to continue to recuperate from the frightening sprain he sustained in the fourth quarter of the Hornets’ 109-100 victory.

Gray was held out of practice in Los Angeles on Monday, but spoke to a group of reporters about his injury status. Here are a few comments from his interview.

On how the injury felt today:
“My ankle feels good. I’m just taking it day by day. I got a lot of treatment today. Obviously we’ve got another practice (Tuesday) and a shootaround before the game Wednesday.”

On the amount of swelling in his right ankle:
“I’ve got a softball in there, but it’s actually come down a lot. I’ve gotten a lot of range of motion back. They’ve done a great job with the training staff so far, just around the clock with the doctors. Plus, all of my teammates and coaches have been coming through to (my) hotel room. It’s been a great morale boost.”

On his immediate reaction to being taken off the floor:
“I was back in (the locker room), getting X-rays. I was just making sure we got the win. Honestly, the biggest thought in my mind was that Game 2 is going to be even more intense. L.A. is going to bring it even more. That was kind of my mindset. I just want to be 100 percent, because it’s going to be a fight and I want to be in there with the rest of my teammates fighting it out... There is definitely no exhale in us right now. We know we have to bring it even more in L.A. It was good to get one, but we need two.”

On getting an extra day off between Game 1 and 2:
“We’re using it to our advantage. We’ve got a lot of teaching points and walkthrough stuff. Stuff that hurt us (in Game 2). Tomorrow we’ll go through (it) at full speed and hopefully I can add my activity.”

On how close he is to 100 percent:
“I don’t know. I’m never good with numbers. It feels good. It’s sore, but like I said, it’s much better than yesterday, and hopefully by Wednesday it’s even better.”

On what happened on play that led to injury:
"I don't know. I saw it on SportsCenter and it was kind of nasty. It was just one of those things where you're making a basketball play, you come down sideways, and all of the weight (is on the ankle)."