Detroit — The designation on Friday’s injury report looked to be just for show: Reggie Jackson (right ankle soreness), questionable.
After suffering an ankle sprain in Wednesday’s game in Miami, it seemed highly unlikely that Jackson would be able to play — at least for a game or two. Compounding the issue was that it was the same ankle to which he sustained a grade-3 sprain last season, sidelining him for 37 games.
Coach Dwane Casey didn’t veer away from Jackson’s status in his pregame comments Friday and there Jackson was for pregame introductions, among the starting lineup.
Credit the medical staff, including medical director Bernard Condevaux and head athletic trainer Jim Scholler, for Jackson’s recovery.
After Jackson stepped on Zaza Pachulia foot and crumpled to the court in pain in Miami, Jackson began to ice the ankle and the medical staff jumped into action.
“Just a lot of treatment and staying off of it and a lot of ice from the med staff,” Jackson said. “They did a great of being creative and attacking it from a lot of angles, whether it be massaging, stimulation, icing or heat treatment.”
“It was a nonstop two-day process of just getting treatment. (Thursday) was an off-day for us and by the time I looked up, I was at the practice facility for four or five hours of treatment.”
Condevaux and Scholler collaborated, along with medical consultant Arnie Kander to come up with a plan for Jackson’s summer regimen and holding him out of training camp, looking to ensure that he was 100 percent before he got back on the court in the regular season.
It’s worked so far, as Jackson hasn’t missed any games and is playing his best basketball of the season. Following the injury Wednesday, Jackson insisted that the sprain wasn’t a big deal and that he would be fine. He said his faith in the medical staff helped in his belief —and it came to fruition.
“That’s why I wasn’t really worried — I believe in our med team wholeheartedly and I know they’re really locked in,” Jackson said. “I don’t know who (came up with the plan) but when I was there, it was very much a team effort. Bernard attacked it from another angle; Jim was talking about it from another angle.
“It was fun to see them collaborate. Everybody was looking at my ankle trying to evaluate it and everybody comes in with their own advice of how to attack it. It was a five-man thing. Their protocol worked.”
Jackson said he has to continue with the treatments for the next couple of days but he remains confident that he will be fine. In his previous two seasons, he’s had his share of injuries, but Jackson seems to have dodged any major issues this time, partly because of the new medical staff.
“It’s like tweaking anything — you might feel a little pain — but it wasn’t anything I felt should keep me out,” he said. “With the faith I had in the medical team, I knew they’d devise a plan for me to come out and have a legit shot to play.
“I have wholehearted belief in the fact that Arnie from the front office that they would figure it out. I’m confident in their communication and how they all believe in each other. I knew they’d have a plan and I’d be able to play.”
Pistons at Cavaliers
Tipoff: 7 p.m. Monday, Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland
Outlook: The Cavaliers (17-53) have lost six of their last eight games, including a 129-93 drubbing to the Pistons on March 2. The Pistons go for the head-to-head season sweep before starting their western trip at Phoenix on Thursday.