Wizards’ Glen Rice Jr. won’t let broken wrist keep him down

December 19, 2013
Washington Wizards shooting guard Glen Rice Jr. (14) goes up for the dunk in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Clippers Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013, in Washington. The Clippers won 113-97. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Did I break it doing this? (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

NEW YORK – A few hours after having surgery to repair a broken right wrist, Glen Rice Jr. – arm in a sling and wrist covered in a cast – was in the Wizards’ jubilant locker room on Wednesday at Barclays Center cracking jokes with Eric Maynor.

Rice plans to lean on his teammates for support now that he will be out three to six weeks after realizing that the pain in his wrist was more severe than he had thought.

“It kind of hurt to know,” Rice said after the Wizards’ 113-107 win over Brooklyn, explaining his reaction when he first heard the diagnosis. “Because you never want that to happen. But at the end of the day, you’re just more glad that you actually know what happened, didn’t try to fight through something like that. You live with it. It breaks you down a little bit but just to build you back up even stronger.”

Rice remains uncertain about the cause of the wrist injury, but said he started to feel soreness before the team made the trip up to New York. His teammates noticed that Rice began grimacing on the bench after celebrating Monday’s dramatic, 102-101 win over the Knicks.

“I might’ve bumped it or something after the game, but that wasn’t why” the injury occurred, Rice said. “I don’t know. Just wear and tear probably. It’s been bothering me, since before the game and it just got to the point I couldn’t take it anymore. It got tender, right after the game. Walking back in the locker room, I had more pain than usual. I said, ‘It’s starting to hurt, again, a little more.’ ”

While meeting with Dr. Michelle Carlson on Tuesday in New York, Rice learned that he had a fracture and had an outpatient procedure the next day.

“I’m still getting a little feeling back,” Rice said, wiggling his fingers. “It’s fine. Of course, you never want to be hurt. All you can do now is wait, get better, be ready when I come back.”

Rice expects to continue traveling with the team while he is sidelined. The 6-foot-6 rookie swingman might have had a hard time being away from the team, especially since a few players assisted him in getting dressed on Monday at Madison Square Garden. “It’s just nice knowing that your teammates got your back no matter what,” Rice said.

Though he hated that the injury occurred, Rice was glad that he was able to contribute before Bradley Beal returned from the stress injury in his right fibula. In his last three games, Rice averaged seven points and 3.7 minutes in 22 minutes. He scored a season-high eight points last Friday in his hometown of Atlanta during the Wizards’ 101-99 loss to the Hawks.

“It definitely helps, that I actually had some playing time. That I know I’m capable in this league and when I come back, just got to pick up where I left off,” said Rice, who averages  2.9 points and 1.8 rebounds in 11 games, including one start, for the Wizards. “You don’t want to get down, because I got to come back.”

 

Michael Lee is the national basketball writer for The Washington Post.
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Michael Lee | December 19, 2013