Kenyon Martin to Sit as Nuggets Determine Severity of Knee Injury
The Denver Nuggets forward has fought through a very sore knee the past month. But it remains be seen whether he can continue to do that.
"You can play through some of the pain,'' Martin said Saturday. "But when it becomes chronic, then you've got to listen to your body ... I've just been trying to do all I can to help this team win ... It just came to a point where it ain't no fun going out there in warm-ups and you're in pain.''
Martin will not play Sunday against Portland, missing his second straight game due to what the team has called left knee patella tendinitis. It will be the fifth game out of the past 12 that Martin, the backbone of Denver's defense, has sat out due to his left knee.
Yahoo! Sports reported Friday that Martin, who underwent an MRI Thursday, has a partial tear of his left patella tendon. However, that has not been confirmed by the Nuggets, and his condition was listed Saturday by the team the same as it had been Friday.
"Everybody is observing and consulting with one another," said Nuggets coach George Karl. "I would say hopefully by early next week we'll have a more conclusive opinion."
The Nuggets announced Saturday results of Martin's MRI will be reviewed though the weekend and there will be consultation Monday with Martin and doctors. A plan for when Martin might return then will be formulated.
"Just trying to stay optimistic that it ain't nothing serious," Martin said. "I'm just waiting to hear what (doctors) got to say. Then we're just going to come together and whatever the best course of action will be, whether it's rest, whatever the case may be.
"If they tell me that it's something more serious than I think it is and I got to get surgery, then I got to do that. But, if they say I can rest and let it heal and I can play, I'm going to do that ... I ain't thinking the worse. I don't know. I'm just trying to stay level-headed."
Martin said any possibility of surgery has not been mentioned to him. Martin had hoped to get an appointment this weekend with Dr. Richard Steadman, a noted Vail, Colo., specialist who has worked on Martin before, but one hadn't been immediately available.
With Martin ailing and Nuggets big man Chris Andersen playing through tendinitis problems in his right knee, the Nuggets are discussing this weekend whether they might want to add another big man. Agent Mark Bartelstein told FanHouse on Friday the Nuggets are talking to him about five of his free-agent big men: Mark Blount, Mikki Moore, Brian Cook, Jake Voskuhl and Rob Kurz.
Despite knee issues, Martin has played gritty defense and averaged 10.7 rebounds in the seven games out of the past 11 he has played. But Martin, who has had micorofracture surgery on both knees, now says it's not prudent to play until there is more precise information about the severity of his injury.
"I'm not going to play until I get a definite answer," Martin said. "I'm not going to go out and not know until they tell me one way or another ... I'm not going to jeopardize long term or whatever the case might be, not knowing what it is. The pain is there. It ain't going nowhere, so we'll see.
"I'm not speculating about anything. I'm not getting too up or too down about it. Of course, I want to play. That's the frustrating part about it ... If they tell me I can go out and play and it ain't nothing serious, that's what' I'm going to do ... If I have to rest for two or three weeks, that's what I'm going to do."
The Nuggets (41-21), who have fallen behind Dallas (42-21) and are now the No. 3 seed in the West and are just 1-1/2 games ahead of Utah (39-22) in the Northwest Division, are a banged-up unit as they head into a stretch after Sunday's game in which they have nine of 12 on the road. Karl confirmed point guard Ty Lawson on Sunday will miss his fourth straight game due to a left shoulder contusion, but Lawson has said he will return Wednesday at Minnesota.
At least the Nuggets have gone 3-1 during the most recent stretch of games Martin has missed. They went 0-3 when he sat out games in November and December due to other injuries.
Chris Tomasson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter@christomasson