Newly acquired Lakers center Thomas Bryant is coming off an ACL reconstruction surgery that forced him to miss the majority of last season with the Washington Wizards, only playing in the final 27 games of the season.
With those games under his belt and a full offseason — and Laker fans who saw him blossom during his time with the Wizards — there may have come some expectations that he would look good immediately. However, Bryant has struggled in the preseason, looking a step slow and out of rhythm on both ends of the court.
There are certainly some key reasons for those struggles. I explained them in the following video, particularly through the lens of returning to pre-injury levels following an ACL rupture and surgery.
Hopefully that gives some more perspective on what Thomas is dealing with as he continues his return to play and return to fitness process (yes, trust the process!). Just because he’s back on the court doesn’t mean he’s out of the woods just yet.
The key is looking for trendlines as the season progresses. And if you don’t feel like doing that, I’m sure I’ll comment on it at some point in the future!
Dr. Rajpal Brar, DPT has a doctorate in physical therapy from Northern Arizona University, and runs his own in-person and online sports medicine and performance business, 3CB Performance, in West LA and Valencia, CA in which he further combines his movement expertise and fitness training. He also works at a hospital — giving him experience with patients in the immediate healthcare setting and neurological patients (post stroke, post brain injury) — and has been practicing for 4 years. Brar is additionally training at UCLA’s mindful awareness research center (MARC), has a background in youth basketball coaching and analyzes the Lakers from a medical and skills perspective for Silver Screen and Roll and on his own YouTube Channel. You can follow him on Twitter at @3cbPerformance.