Jeremy Lin described the rehab process for his second left hamstring injury of the season as being like the movie “Groundhog Day,” but with the hopeful caveat that this injury was less painful and his early progress has been more rapid than the last time around.
Lin spoke to the media before the Nets faced the Utah Jazz on Monday night at Barclays Center. It was his first public comment since he was reinjured Dec. 26 against the Charlotte Hornets. He offered no timetable for his return, calling it “hard to predict,” and said it’s a matter of passing each step of his rehab protocol.
Although Lin reinjured the same hamstring, he did so in a different place. “It’s a different area, the other side, and it hurt a lot less when it happened,” Lin said. “Everything’s progressing better than the previous one, so I’m definitely very encouraged. Definitely, if it was the same exact spot, it’d be a different tune.”
The focus of Lin’s rehab is on strengthening his hamstring. Once that happens, he said he can be more aggressive with his on-court activity. “It’s been a week, and I’ve shot, so that’s really encouraging,” Lin said.
“It’s still early. I think the majority of what I’ve been doing is trying to get it to calm down and then in the last few days [I’ve] been able to ramp things up a little bit. So it does feel like kind of ‘Groundhog Day,’ this thing all over again or the rehab days all over again.”
The last time he was injured, Lin traveled with the Nets. He said it’s too early in the process to accompany the Nets to Indianapolis this week but expects to join them in Toronto the following week. All of which suggests he’s likely at least two weeks away from returning. He was out 40 days the last time.
Lin said dealing with two injuries in his first season as the Nets’ starting point guard has been hard to handle. “The night I got hurt, I was pretty upset,” he said. “I think the whole process has been not what I anticipated in terms of you get this opportunity to be on this team, but I think that’s life. It’s more how you respond to it. I know a lot of the setbacks or things that I’ve really not enjoyed in my life have been the most valuable for me in terms of a learning experience.”