While it’ll be at least another week before he joins his teammates on the basketball court, Kyle Lowry is still making his presence felt at the Air Canada Centre.
He spoke with media about the bruised cuboid bone in his right foot on Friday afternoon and acknowledged that it’s hard for him to be patient with his body when he’s injured. Sitting on the sideline does not come easily for him.
“It’s very difficult because I want to be out there with my teammates,” Lowry said. “But at the same time I’m with them and supporting them and being their eyes not only on the court, but off the court.”
If Lowry had his way, he’d be back sooner than later. He recognizes the importance of giving his body time to recover, while acknowledging that he’s the type of athlete that needs to be protected from himself when it comes to injury rehab.
“We’ve got great training staff, we’ve got guys who want to protect me and make sure I get back to 100 percent so that’s the reason for that,” Lowry explained.
Although Lowry missed the victory against the Indiana Pacers because he was in the air, flying back from New York on Tuesday evening, he had some jokes at his teammates’ expense, saying “I heard it was a great fourth quarter for us.”
Lowry made sure to extend praise to point guard Jose Calderon — who picked up his first career triple-double in the victory — saying that he’s playing fantastic, before adding, “I can’t wait to get back on the floor with him and make both of our jobs a lot easier.”
Lowry also discussed what his teammates need to do without him on the floor and he wasn’t cutting anyone slack or using his absence as an excuse if the team struggles.
“Those guys are all NBA players,” he said. “They can all dribble a basketball. It’s pretty much go out there and do what you know how to do. It’s nothing new, there’s nothing that you can’t do. You just have to be comfortable and learn how to be confident while you’re doing it.”
That confident approach is already starting to spread throughout the team, despite Lowry’s absence on the floor. One thing about leaders is that they always find a way to lead. Lowry’s picking his spots and making his voice be heard, even if his game can’t do the talking for a couple more weeks.
* Injury update: Linas Kleiza was limited in Friday’s practice, still dealing with that sore ankle that was tweaked in Indiana. Dwane Casey said they’ll see how he feels Saturday in Boston. Amir Johnson wasn’t able to participate fully in practice because of flu-like symptoms. As a result of lack of bodies, Casey said coaches had to step in and simulate Kevin Garnett.
* Dominic McGuire is expected to meet the team in Boston Friday evening after being away from the team with an excused family matter. Lowry will also make the trip, where he’ll be giving his thoughts from the sideline.
* When asked if he was ready to deal with Garnett’s incessant trash-talking in the game against the Celtics, Valanciunas smiled and said, “Yeah, they say he talks a lot. In Oklahoma (City), (Thunder centre Kendrick) Perkins, he didn’t stop either.”
* Lowry on Valanciunas facing Garnett for the first time: “He’s going to have to learn. You’ve gotta learn. He’s a Hall of Famer (Valanciunas is) going to have to play against, but JV is not going to back down and is going to play his game.”