Immediately after Wes Matthews was lost for the season with a torn Achilles tendon early last March, the gritty sharp-shooter “joked” he’d be ready to play again in just five months. While he hasn’t quite aligned with that superhuman timeline for recovery, Matthews definitely isn’t far behind it, either.
According to Tim Cato of Mavs Moneyball, the Dallas Mavericks wing said he’ll be playing in his new team’s season-opener on Oct. 28 – just less than eight months after initially suffering the injury.
“I’m gonna say I’ll be ready by opening night,” Matthews said. Later on, when asked if would put that prediction in stone, he said yes.
“Anybody that knows me in this league knows that I’m going to give 150 percent,” Matthews said. “You’re going to have to kill me to stop me from going. Only thing that I can do is how I attack my rehab.”
Standard recovery from an Achilles tear for professional athletes is normally anywhere from nine months to a full year. Matthews, though, has been known as one of basketball’s most tireless workers since entering the league as an undrafted free agent in 2009. After he expressed surprise at his rapid rehabilitation progress and began doing light on-court work in early June, his preparedness for the beginning of 2015-16 always seemed a mere formality.
It still remains to be seen just how successful Matthews’ will be in his first season with Dallas, however. Re-acclimating to the speed of the game is notoriously difficult for players returning from Achilles surgery, and he’d face a major adjustment regardless due to playing for a different coach and with different teammates. If Matthews struggles, basically, it’s no harbinger of his future career with the Mavericks; instead, just an almost inevitable byproduct of his entirely unique circumstances.
Let’s just say we wouldn’t be surprised if he thrives, though. Matthews has been beating the odds his entire career, and has done so again with respect to his recovery. Here’s hoping that continues when the season finally tips-off in late October.
(Via Mavs Moneyball)