Otto Porter Jr. and Trevor Booker were both limited because of injuries for the second day of training camp at George Mason’s Patriot Center, but Coach Randy Wittman is optimistic that both will soon return to action.
Porter, the third overall pick from last June’s draft, has been sidelined because of a sore right hip sustained during a pickup game a few weeks ago. But Wittman said on Sunday that the rookie might get throw him into the mix on Monday. Booker is expected to come back “a couple of days after that” from a sore right knee that still has some inflammation.
“Otto is probably just day to day,” Wittman said. “It’s just a matter of him getting to a point where he doesn’t feel anything and kind of ease him after that. It’s going to be up to him and how he feels. He said he feels pretty close today. Let’s hope, maybe tomorrow we can get him into doing some things.”
Wittman doesn’t want Porter to rush back, but he also doesn’t want him to miss out on a critical developmental period for a rookie. He mentioned the difficulty getting familiar with the pace of the NBA and learning new schemes.
“It’s tough,” Wittman said. “A rookie comes in, he gets behind and it’s hard to catch up for a while. All of this is new to him…It’s such a fast paced, quick thing, tempo, the athlete, the quickness of the game is just something you can’t comprehend and the little he experienced in summer league isn’t close to what it would be right now, with these guys being out here. It’s a process, that hopefully, it won’t be too long and he’ll get out there and get himself acclimated with what we’re doing.”
Booker, a fourth-year power forward, believes that he will have an easier adjustment once he recovers. After practice, Booker shot jumpers and got heckled by teammate Martell Webster.
“Of course you can shoot jumpers since you didn’t have to practice for three hours,” Webster shouted, as Booker cracked a smile.
Kevin Seraphin and Jan Vesely both have an opportunity to move ahead in the depth chart, especially with a starting slot available in the absence of Emeka Okafor, but Booker didn’t seem overly concerned.
“It’s frustrating, but at the same time, I’m trying to get ready for the season. So I can have a full healthy season,” Booker said. “I think I’ll be okay. If I come back healthy. I’m a pretty good player when I’m healthy. So, let’s see how it goes. I’m trying to get rid of the soreness. When that goes away, then I’ll get back on the court.”
Booker is looking to bounce back from an injury-plagued season. He said that he had shock wave therapy three weeks ago on the same knee that caused him to miss 24 games. But Booker began experiencing some discomfort a few days before camp began.
“I think I may have starting playing pick up too early,” Booker said. “My knee got a little sore but it’s feeling pretty good right now and I talked to the doctor today. He said it’s looking good. He said to take it day by day.”