Robin Lopez was in a much better mood today. Gone were scary scowls and one-word answers and in their place was a much more engaging and happier big man.
After reports just yesterday listed him as doubtful for this series, today Robin was much more optimistic.
"I definitely think that I will be able to put in some time this series. What game I will first come in, I'm not sure yet. I'm going to keep working in practice and we'll see how I feel," Lopez said.
Clearly, this is just Robin talking and obviously he's anxious to play. At the same time, he understands the organization is not going to risk anything by rushing him back.
Robin is anxious to get back on the court or even onto the bench. He reported feeling "segregated" having to sit behind his teammates next to the water cooler. His frustration over the past few weeks has been evident and understandable. As he said, any NBA player is wired to want to be out on the court.
Asked if he is ready to go now, Robin joked, "If I played today, Duncan might get that quadruple-double he was going for a few years back."
Today Robin only participated in half court drills and 5 on 5 work and said he felt good. He said he's a few steps slow but his wind was better than he expected it to be.
Those of us who have been injured and sat out long periods can attest that the first time back is usually much better than the second and third. We will have to wait a few more practices to know how Robin is really doing.
Robin last was on the court on March 24th against the Knicks and has been slowly and carefully rehabbing his back ever since. The bulging disc, the fourth one down according to Robin, was initially irritating the nerve that ran down his right leg, which he said totally weakened the leg. The rehab focus now is to strengthen both the leg and his core.