I wanted to get a little deeper into Hakeem Nick’s mind, try to get at what he was feeling in the moments after his knee buckled on Tuesday evening and he had to be taken off the field in a cart. So I asked him to tell me about the experience.
I’ve often wondered what goes through a player’s mind on that cart ride. I mean, Nicks said he felt like it wasn’t a serious injury but there he was being driven away on the back of this motorized vehicle. Things must be running through the player’s mind at that point, wondering if he’ll even be able to play again this season. It must be a very lonely moment.
I tried to sketch a word outline for Nicks to color in with his own verbal crayons.
“It has to be a strange feeling to be driven off the field while all the rest of your teammates are sort of fading into the distance, walking off on their own,” I said to him.
He looked at me for a silent moment. Contemplating. Was he reaching for the same heartfelt words I was longing to hear? Was he going to speak from the soul about that ride and the uncertainty of what awaited at the other end of it?
“Yeah,” he said with a little shrug, “if you look at it that way.”
Sigh. Oh well.
Anyway, Nicks is fine. He plans on practicing tonight, although I would imagine a wet field might put an end to those plans. And he said he plans on being back to full-go (not a once-a-day guy) by next week.
“Man, I feel like I missed enough time missing the spring, so I’m ready to get after it now,” he said. “I’m all about timing now.”
As for the injury itself, Nicks said he was never really worried.
“On film it looked a lot worse,” he said of his knee hyperextending. “I didn’t really feel it was that serious so it didn’t strike me I was going to be out for the whole season. It was like an ouch for the moment. Once I got up and walked off (to the cart) I knew I was fine.”