INDIANAPOLIS — Although he originally was listed as questionable to face the Pacers on Wednesday night at Bainbridge Fieldhouse because of right foot soreness, Nets center LaMarcus Aldridge was cleared to play after the morning shootaround.
He shot 6-for-8 and had 13 points in 16 minutes Wednesday in the Nets’ 129-121 win.
Aldridge only missed one game with the foot problem. At the same time, Aldridge admitted he still is feeling the effects of a recent battle with COVID-19 that caused him to miss five games before he returned in losses to the 76ers and Clippers last Thursday and Saturday.
Aldridge addressed his health issues for the first time after shootaround. Asked what was most difficult about missing time, Aldridge said, "Not working out, just not moving around. Even those two games I played, you just don’t feel right.
"You don’t feel like you’re clear-headed yet. Your wind and your legs are still tired. So it’s a process coming back from that stuff."
After joining the Nets as a free agent last February, Aldridge only played five games before retiring with a heart arrhythmia. But he got medical clearance to return over the summer and said there is no current issue with his heart.
But Aldridge emphasized the effects of COVID are very real, even for a 36-year-old professional athlete.
"I had all the symptoms, so I didn’t do anything. I was tired. I was not feeling well, headaches, body aches," Aldridge said about his time in quarantine. "I’m still trying to find myself right now."
Asked if symptoms have lingered, Aldridge said, "Yeah. Even though you’re through it, you don’t go back to feeling normal. It was my first time getting it, so I think it definitely hit me harder than most. I’m still trying to get my legs back, get my wind back and just feel normal again."
Nets coach Steve Nash expressed his confidence in Aldridge, saying, "He has looked able to withstand the demands of the game. Overall, we feel comfortable that he can handle the output as he works through it."