Media day is always full of interesting tidbits but unfortunately for the second year in a row one of those tidbits was regarding Darrell Arthur’s health or lack thereof. Last season we found out that he wouldn’t be ready to start the season due to arthoscopic knee surgery late in the offseason. This season the prognosis is not as bad, but coach Michael Malone did note some limitations, stating
We’ll keep an eye on (Arthur), you know, he’ll be able to go through the first practice, we may limit him some in the second practice and that’s where I’ll lean on (Director of Sports Medicine) Steve Short and his staff in terms of what is best for Darrell Arthur long term
Tim Connelly, president of basketball operations, noted that “the challenge with (Arthur) is always going to be health” but also indicated that a lot of what Arthur brings to the table is found off the court as a leader in the locker room. Coach Malone expounded on those comments, stating:
to Tim’s point, can he stay healthy? That’s the biggest question mark. You know what you’re getting with (Arthur), he comes to work every day, he’s a pro...I challenged him last year to be more vocal and be a leader and he was one of the best leaders on our team.
Arthur being limited is not much of a surprise. After his knee required surgery just before the start of last year and recurring issues limited him to half a season, he sought out special treatment outside the United States. He visited Germany to undergo Regenokine treatment on his knee, a procedure that requires the heating of blood which makes it barred by the FDA here in the states. Given the recurring issues with his knee it’s only natural for Denver to monitor him closely.
The more surprising news to hear was that second year forward Juancho Hernangomez may also be limited in training camp. However, coach was quick to note that Juancho’s limitations are not related to injury, but rather the workload the young player has been under in the past few months. Coach stated:
He had a very taxing offseason with his Summer League play with us and then going right to Spain and helping them win the bronze medal in the Eurobasket and he just finished like last week. So, we want to make sure we’re not overloading him because that’s a lot mentally and physically on a young player.
The Denver Nuggets have certainly been on the progressive side of things in terms of player health and monitoring their body metrics so this shouldn’t be much of a surprise. Last year it was Nikola Jokic who played non stop through the offseason and then went right into the NBA season. There were times when Jokic’s exhaustion was noticeable and it led to him making a very difficult decision to forego Eurobasket this season in favor of rest and improving his conditioning so it makes sense for the Nuggets to take a cautious approach this season with another one of their young players under similar circumstances.