It appears as though two-a-days can’t come to a close soon enough.
Just four days into Pistons training camp, reserve guard Steve Blake topped a list of three Pistons who found themselves sidelined with various ailments this week. It was revealed Friday afternoon that Blake had been diagnosed with a concussion two days ago.
Meanwhile, guard Reggie Jackson is listed as day-to-day with a thigh contusion suffered after banging into the basket stanchion. Center Aron Baynes is also listed as day-to-day after rolling his surgically repaired right ankle on Joel Anthony’s foot.
With Brandon Jennings still rehabilitating a ruptured Achilles tendon, the injuries to both Blake and Jackson left the Pistons shorthanded at the point guard position during practice, forcing rookies Darrun Hilliard and Stanley Johnson to provide emergency assistance in the backcourt.
As reported by MLive’s David Mayo, the shorthanded point guard situation, combined with fatigue from a week of two-a-days (with multiple practices extending over three hours), resulted in a sluggish showing on Friday.
“We did not have a very good day today,” head coach Stan Van Gundy said. “I think point guards being hurt, being fatigued, they still gave really good effort, but mentally, we were not really good today. We were screwing up plays and missing responsibilities. So today was not a very good day. But the other three days have been outstanding. And even today, the effort was good, we just mentally really weren’t there.”
Though Baynes and Jackson’s injuries are not believed to be serious, their status for Saturday’s 11 a.m. Open Practice at The Palace remains uncertain.
As for Blake, he will be subject to NBA Concussion Protocol before he can be cleared for action. A run down of requirements Blake must complete:
- The return to participation protocol involves several steps of increasing exertion — from a stationary bike, to jogging, to agility work, to non-contact team drills.
- With each step, a player must be symptom free to move to the next step. If a player is not symptom free after a step, he stops until he is symptom free and begins again at the previous step of the protocol (i.e., the last step he passed without any symptoms).
- While the final return-to participation decision is to be made by the player’s team physician, the team physician must discuss the return-to-participation process and decision with Dr. Jeffrey Kutcher, the Director of the NBA’s Concussion Program, prior to the player being cleared for full participation in NBA Basketball.