Health remains pivotal for Chandler

By: Jim Eichenhofer,

It may be easy to lose sight of now, but over his first two seasons with the Hornets, Tyson Chandler was developing into one of the best centers in the NBA. That’s the primary reason why – despite an injury-plagued, down year for the 7-foot-1 pivot in 2008-09 – the Hornets are excited about the possibility of seeing a completely healthy player next season.
“If you can get him back healthy and his mind is right as far as getting out here and proving everybody wrong,” Hornets coach Byron Scott said last week, “and getting back to the level of play where he was two years ago and continuing to improve, then we’ve got one of the top five centers in the league.”
Before he can do that, however, Chandler will try to recuperate during an offseason of rest and rehabilitation. A severe ankle sprain curtailed his effectiveness this season, especially in the playoffs, but after having recent surgery, he’s optimistic that he can return to the form he displayed in 2006-07 and 2007-08.
“He was excited and said he can’t wait to get back on the basketball court,” related Scott of Chandler’s outlook after surgery. “He said this is going to give him the agility and movement back that he had a few years ago, so he can get back to his old self."
Scott said early indications are that Chandler will need 2-4 months before he is able to return to the court and prepare for the upcoming season.