The Rocky Mountain News ran a nice piece yesterday on Nuggets power forward Nene and his wife's remarkable recovery from potentially life threatening ailments in 2008. Nene's return from testicular cancer is well documented, but I don't think any of us knew that his wife underwent brain surgery to remove a benign tumor on her pituitary gland. Scary stuff indeed. And like everyone else in Nuggets Nation, I'm thrilled to hear that they're doing well.
As sports bloggers, we tend to criticize a bit too much and don't write often about the good stories happening on the teams we love and obsess over. This is probably because the mainstream sports media isn't critical enough and tends to over-cover feel good stories like Nene's amazing comeback this season. There's not much I can say about Nene that hasn't already been said hundreds of times over in the News, Post and on Nuggets telecasts except that he might have been the steal of my fantasy draft when I took him towards the end (although my first three rounds worth of picks have been utter failures).
Even before reading yesterday's News profile, Nene had been on a mind a lot lately. As we in Nuggets Nation know all too well, before being diagnosed with cancer Nene had had an injury-riddled career (as documented in our article back in October about the curse of the Nuggets' power forward position). The most severe of these injuries was when he tore his anterior cruciate ligament and meniscus in his right knee against the Spurs in the first game of the 2005-06 season. That injury pretty much sunk the season for the Nuggets as fellow power forward Kenyon Martin missed 26 games due to knee injuries himself.
Well, if you're mildly curious as to why my blogging has been spotty lately and might be a bit more spotty in the days to come, its because I, too, tore my ACL and meniscus in my right knee playing basketball. I did it right before Christmas. I was cutting across the key, caught a ball from my point guard, and turned to shoot real quick knowing my defender was right behind me. My upper body had no problem turning towards the basket, but let's just say my right foot and knee didn't come with me and instead bent the wrong way. As soon as it happened I figured I was screwed somehow, but I didn't know the severity of the injury (I was hoping it was just a hyper extension). The guys on the court said I fell right away - THUD - to the floor. And at 6'5" I can assure you, it's a long way down there.
Anyway, I'm heading in for surgery on Wednesday and will begin the necessary rehab right away. The doctor says I should be back to playing basketball in four-to-five months, but I've heard it's more like six months.
I'm not telling my readers this to get any sympathy. I'm insured, have a good support structure and, most thankfully, cancer is not the ailment that I have in common with Nene. In fact, when I told 104.3 The Fan's Sandy Clough about it on the air last Friday he chuckled and said something like: "I bet George Karl will be happy to hear about that!" As someone who spends 90% of his time making fun of others, I certainly appreciated the humor.
I just thought Denver Stiffs readers should know so you'll understand if/when it takes a little longer to get some game recap posts up. The problem with the post-ACL surgery for the first two weeks is that everything is going to take a while and I'm not supposed to sit at a computer for long hours. Moreover, as someone who already has two full-time jobs, I'll now be adding an hour of physical therapy and rehab to my schedule every day.
Given the impending surgery and rehab, I'm going to make one small change to Denver Stiffs that should have been done before I got hurt anyway. I've noticed that a lot of readers like to post comments during games or immediately thereafter. So I'm going to post mini-previews for each game before tipoff where readers can leave their comments right away, and then I'll just update the post with my recap when I get to it. This way your comments will be read and debated all in one post.
That's all for now. As always, I sincerely appreciate your loyalty to the blog and of course, Go Nuggets!!