Martin In Dark About Possible Knee Tear
Regardless, the Nuggets, who had previously been looking for a big man, will spend this weekend discussing what they might do. Agent Mark Bartelstein told FanHouse the Nuggets have inquired about five of his free-agent big men: Mark Blount, Mikki Moore, Brian Cook, Jake Voskuhl and Rob Kurz.
How quick the Nuggets might want to make a move could depend on what the team learns this weekend about Martin, who sat out Friday's 122-114 win over Indiana with what the team reported as chronic left knee patella tendinitis. However, Yahoo! Sports reported unnamed sources as saying Martin has a partial tear of his left patella tendon and surgery is among the treatment options being considered.
"I don't know where Marc Spears got that from, man,'' Martin said in an interview with FanHouse after Friday's game, referring to the writer of the story. "It's a little more than tendinitis, but I don't know if it's torn. I had an MRI (on Thursday). They looked at it. There's a lot of speculation going on. ... It's more serious than tendinitis but I don't know yet.''
Martin said he should know more Saturday. He said MRI results are still being evaluated, and he added no one has told him anything yet.
"The doctors, they're just now getting to the results so how does anybody else know?'' Martin said. "It's just a report. I'm going on what the doctors say. I'm waiting on Dr. (Richard) Steadman (an outside doctor Martin is seeing in Vail, Colo.) to look at it and give me a synopsis, and then we'll go to the team doctor and everything else.''
Nuggets vice president of basketball operations Mark Warkentien, on the road scouting, declined comment and referred questions to Nuggets athletic trainer Jim Gillen. Gillen did not offer any additional information on Martin, saying, "If I have anything to tell you, I'll put it on a sheet of paper.''
The Nuggets distributed a release before the game that, in addition to listing the injury as chronic left knee patella tendinitis, called his condition day-to-day.
Nuggets coach George Karl said he didn't have "enough information'' and didn't want to speculate about the health of Martin, who has been the team's defensive backbone all season. But Karl said he's "hoping everything is going to be OK.''
Martin said nobody has said anything to him about possible surgery, but the Yahoo! report also called rest and therapeutic injections as being possible options. Martin, who doesn't know if he will play Sunday against Portland, said "no'' when asked if he's worried about this injury sidelining him long-term. Still, he did express concern due to his past knee problems.
"I'm always on edge,'' said Martin, who has had micofracture surgeries on both knees.
Karl told FanHouse before Friday's game the Nuggets are "having that discussion now'' about possibly signing a big man. He confirmed Blount and Moore as being candidates, although noted it must be taken into consideration Moore is out "another 10 days'' while still recovering from right heel surgery last December to remove a bone spur.
"I talked to the Nuggets (on Friday), and they're meeting over the weekend to decide (about a possible signing of a big man),'' Bartelstein said. "They want to see what George might like.''
Candidates include Moore, who got into 23 games for Golden State this season before being waived in January following his surgery; Cook, who appeared in 15 games with Houston before being waived last month; Voskhul and Kurz, who haven't played since being let go at the end of training camp; and Blount, who hasn't played at all this season and had his contract bought out earlier this week by Minnesota.
So do any of Bartelstein's big men have a leg up on another?
"It will depend on what type of player they are looking for,'' Bartelstein said.
The Nuggets also have big man Chris Andersen who has been slowed lately by left knee tendinitis. And, while they aren't big men, it should be noted stars Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups both had IVs after Friday's game.
Anthony got his primarily for precautionary reasons after having felt sluggish for two weeks until Wednesday against Oklahoma City. Billups said he had one because he's "been under the weather lately (and) a little messed up for about three or four days.''
Both Billups and Anthony expressed concern about Martin, who has missed four of the past 11 games due to problems with his left knee.
"Hope for the best,'' Billups said. "He has a long history of knee issues. That's definitely not what you want to here (that it could be serious). Just hoping it's not that bad.''
Even while having knee pain, Martin has averaged 10.7 rebounds in the seven games he has played out of the past 11. He's averaging 11.8 points and 9.6 rebounds while having his best season since joining the Nuggets in the summer of 2004.
NUGGETS NOTES: Nuggets backup point guard Ty Lawson, who missed his third straight game Friday due to a left shoulder contusion, said he will return after missing one more game. "I'll sit out Sunday and Wednesday (at Minnesota) should be definite,'' he said. "It's feeling a lot better.'' When Lawson returns, Karl said "we're going to have to evaluate'' how minutes will be distributed backing up Billups since Anthony Carter has averaged 9.5 assists the past two games. ... Billups, a former teammate of Rodney Stuckey's in Detroit, said he heard at halftime from Martin that Stuckey had collapsed at a game in Cleveland and was taken off on a stretcher. "I'm praying for him,'' Billups said of Stuckey. "We talk a lot. We text. He just told me he's going to come out for the playoffs (in Denver)... I just hope everything turns out OK.''
Chris Tomasson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter@christomasson