Trevor Booker said he hopes that he can get back to playing full contact basketball this week after recently having a second platelet rich plasma treatment on his injured left foot.
Booker bumped Andray Blatche from the Wizards starting lineup and averaged career highs of 8.4 points and 6.5 rebounds last season but was forced to miss the final 15 games with plantar fasciitis.
While in Las Vegas for NBA summer league, Booker revealed that he decided to have a PRP – a non-surgical therapy that encourages a more rapid, natural, healing process – at the urging of famed orthopedic surgeon Martin O’Malley in New York.
Booker has been working out in Washington with Wizards trainers for most of the offseason. After developing some soreness in his foot, Booker decided that he should have another treatment last week. He said the procedure required taking blood from his right arm and putting it in his foot.
“I said, ‘Okay, I’ll try it.’ I definitely felt better the first time. I feel even better the second time,” Booker said, adding that the injury was simply plantar fasciitis and nothing more. “My foot is feeling really good. I think that’s going to push me over the edge.”
Booker said he is actually excited about the additions of Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza, who arrived from New Orleans in exchange for Rashard Lewis. He had suggested the need for more veterans when the season ended, citing the influence of Nene.
“We definitely needed some experience, so that’ll help us out,” he said.
With Blatche’s situation finally settled with him being waived on Tuesday, the Wizards have a clear picture of what their front court will look like next season. Nene, Kevin Seraphin and Okafor can all play center and power forward, Booker and Jan Vesely can both play power forward, and if the team goes small, Chris Singleton could also swing over from small forward.
The Wizards still have three roster spots available and remain interested in bringing back veteran James Singleton to add more depth to the front line. The 6-8 Booker still believes that he will find a spot in the regular rotation for the Wizards – even if he has to play some small forward.
“I’m not sure, but I would say yeah. I could be comfortable at the three,” said Booker, who averaged 9.7 points and 7.8 rebounds in 32 starts last season. “I think I’ll still get my minutes, if I just continue to work, play hard like I do.”
Booker is more confident after finally establishing a role within the team and felt he made dramatic improvements from his rookie season. “The more experience I had on the court, I progressed each game, I felt that way,” he said in April. “Unfortunately, I got injured, but I have something to look forward to next season.”
Booker is known for his hustle and energy, but he also provides an element of toughness that was on display during an exchange in late February with Orlando Magic guard Jason Richardson. Booker and Richardson exchanged words and Booker calmly walked through a crowd that attempted to separate them to continue the discussion.
“I wanted people to realize that, that we weren’t going to back down from anybody,” Booker said. “I know a lot of teams don’t respect us so we have to earn their respect.”
But Booker also realizes that he will have to get his foot right in order to contribute to his new-look team.
“I think I’ll be all right,” he said. “I’m feeling pretty good.”
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