Trevor Booker is no longer going to be listed as day-to-day with a strained right knee.
Booker has missed the past five games since getting injured in a loss against Indiana nearly two weeks ago, but Coach Randy Wittman said on Sunday there is still “soreness and swelling” in Booker’s knee and that the energetic forward wouldn’t return for “probably another couple of weeks.”
While traveling with the team to New York last week, Booker visited with a doctor who informed him that he needed to rest for a while longer before coming back.
“They said I shouldn’t play until don’t have any pain,” Booker said. “I’ll wait for that to clear up, but I’m feeling better each day.”
Booker revealed that he had been playing with knee pain for nearly two months and suggested that the knee injury probably developed as he attempted to compensate for a left hamstring injury that developed in training camp. “Maybe that was it,” he said.
His knee gave out in the fourth quarter of a 96-89 loss to Indiana on Nov. 19, when Booker jumped off his right leg to make a layup. Booker usually leaps off both legs but immediately started limping and had to be pulled from the game.
“I was playing with it for a while. I just went up real hard for a layup and jumped off one leg,” Booker said. “It just got worse after that. It was a lot of pain and I couldn’t play the next game.”
Booker started at power forward the first seven games, before getting benched in favor of Jan Vesely in the next two. He also has the worst average plus-minus of any player on the roster at minus-9.7 and he hasn’t played with the same vigor or effectiveness as last season, when he started 32 games and averaged 8.4 points and 6.5 rebounds.
A career 53 percent shooter before the season, Booker is shooting a career-low 45.3 percent. He is averaging 6.8 points and 5.6 rebounds and he blamed the injury for not playing with the usual reckless abandon at times this season.
“It definitely was,” Booker said. “I couldn’t play like I wanted to. I’ll say I was probably playing at like 70 percent. So it hurt me bad.”
Wittman said Nene didn’t attend Sunday’s practice to deal with an illness. “He was sick yesterday, feverish again today. It’s going down, but there was no need for him to run with it. He’ll have another day of practice.”
Nene is expected to be back to play against Miami on Tuesday, but Wittman still has no timetable for John Wall. “Until the doctor says he’s ready to go full bore. I don’t know what to tell you guys,” Wittman said. “I’m serious. I tell my mom, ‘I don’t know.’ She asks me every day, too. ‘When’s John coming back?’ ‘I don’t know mom.’ ”