Caldwell-Pope relieved injury isn't worse

Vincent Goodwill Jr.
The Detroit News

Auburn Hills — Pardon Kentavious Caldwell-Pope if he was feeling a little uneasy on the flight from Washington, D.C., back to Detroit, as he was unable to put weight on his left leg after slipping on the Verizon Center floor Sunday.

"Their doctor put a scare into everybody," Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy said, referring to the Washington Wizards doctors who initially evaluated Caldwell-Pope's left knee.

Although it was revealed to be nothing more than a left knee strain, there were some moments of uneasiness for the second-year guard before his Sunday night MRI.

"I really didn't want to hear what the doctor was saying, just trying to keep myself calm," Caldwell-Pope said. "I was kinda nervous because I never had a serious injury. But it did happen. The way it happened was unfortunate. It scared me a little bit."

At the time, he had 12 points and was on the hunt for 14, as he set himself up to go around a baseline screen before a spot on the floor — one that caught Andre Drummond twice earlier — made Caldwell-Pope its next victim.

"It was a wet spot," Caldwell-Pope said. "The ball boys didn't wipe it up, so when I came around the screen, I just slipped on it."

Van Gundy took a shot at the Wizards' staff, saying they didn't consider the spot a point of safety.

"It happened three or four times. It would be nice if they dry it up. Seemed pretty simple to me. You watch three or four people slip, I guess because it wasn't any of their people, it wasn't really a concern," he said.

Considering the bad news the Pistons experienced with the other shooting guard, with Jodie Meeks' back injury keeping him out for two months, it was essentially imperative that Caldwell-Pope's injury not be as severe as many feared during those few hours between his slipping and the MRI that was performed Sunday night.

There was a slight limp that accompanied Caldwell-Pope when he spoke to the media Tuesday afternoon, one he was thankful to have, given the worst-possible outcomes.

"Right now I'm just blessed not to be really hurt," Caldwell-Pope said. "It's a good thing not to have a serious injury. Now when I get back, I can continue doing what I'm doing, helping my teammates."

He'll miss the three exhibition games this week but will likely return for the final tune-up, at home against Philadelphia, before the season begins on Oct. 27, where he'll surely be the starting shooting guard.

"I'm feeling great. I'm walking on it, I can bend it a little bit but it's kinda tender and sore," he said. "I'm not rushing, I'm just taking my time. I want to get 100 percent."

Not only did they receive good news on Caldwell-Pope, but guards Will Bynum and second-round pick Spencer Dinwiddie went through a full practice Tuesday. Van Gundy said it's possible Dinwiddie will see the floor on the final exhibition game as well, on Oct. 23.

Pistons at Hornets

Tip-off: 11 a.m. Wednesday, Time Warner Cable Arena, Charlotte, N.C.

Radio: WMGC

Records: Pistons 2-1, Hornets 2-1

Outlook: Andre Drummond, Greg Monroe and Josh Smith will start in the frontcourt. … The Hornets are coming off a playoff appearance last season, and added former Pacers G Lance Stephenson in free agency.

vgoodwill@detroitnews.com

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