Lakers’ Brandon Ingram has rediscovered hope in his recovery from surgery

August 17, 2020

first_imgAmong the many things outgoing team president Magic Johnson touched on during his resignation, an upbeat attitude about Ingram stood out. He credited Ingram for rising above the fray during trade rumors that tested the Lakers’ locker room.“Before Brandon Ingram got hurt, he was playing (unbelievable),”  Johnson said. “He put together what, three weeks or two weeks – that’s the Brandon, I think if he can get to that level and stay there consistently next year, he’d be like an All-Star.”Ingram is also a believer that he can reach that level, and he said that support from coaches and teammates has helped sustain the hope that he can resume his rise once he returns. Fans have also approached him cold to tell him that they’re praying for him to heal.“That means a lot,” Ingram said. “I think we get so caught up in so much of the negativity. Just to see the positive and see everyone around saying positive things, I think that was good for me.” Lakers, Clippers schedules set for first round of NBA playoffs EL SEGUNDO — It started out as tightness. Then it felt like a pinch, piercing enough that he couldn’t lift his arm above his shoulder.Brandon Ingram’s first instinct was to push through it.“I knew I was going to hear (Luke Walton’s) mouth talking about I was soft when I was coming to the gym,” he said.But Ingram was not soft. He didn’t realize in those early March days that pinch was actually a blood clot, pressing against his nerves, packed into a tight corridor just by his collarbone. If it hadn’t been discovered, it could’ve been a timebomb smaller than a dime – something that could have actually threatened his life. Trail Blazers beat Grizzlies in play-in, earn first-round series with the Lakers AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersLess than a month removed from thoracic outlet decompression surgery at UCLA that ended his season, Ingram spoke to reporters Wednesday morning, the first time since the blood clot was diagnosed. After the procedure left him without part of his uppermost rib (an anatomically useless portion of the body), he’s not expected to have any more problems with blood clots and should make a full recovery in time to play next season.Still, the diagnosis hit him hard back in March. His initial reaction was the same one many others had: He thought of Chris Bosh, who was essentially forced into retirement because of blood clots. He’s since learned that his condition isn’t really an apples-to-apples comparison, but early on, uncertainty reigned.“When I initially heard about it I was kind of worried,” he said. “I heard people talk about the Chris Bosh thing. I think people around me, they kept me grounded, they kept me smiling. They told me everything was gonna be all right. I didn’t have anything related to Chris Bosh really. His was a little bit worse. In my situation, I’m happy that we caught it early.”The last few weeks, Ingram has been on blood thinners and faced restrictions on what he can do with his right arm. He started physical therapy a week ago, but it’s still going to be a while before he’s doing any basketball activities. He lives in fear of sneezes – they set off jolts of pain in his chest and back as he continues to heal from surgery.Ingram dreams of coming back to the gym. He hasn’t picked up a basketball in more than a month. In the meantime, he quipped, he’s been relaxing “a little too much,” which makes him want to return to the game all the more. Trail Blazers, Grizzlies advance to NBA play-in game; Suns, Spurs see playoff dreams dashed center_img “Without basketball, I have no idea what to do,” he said. “Just brings a little motivation. Added motivation. I just don’t take things for granted.”Ingram’s appearance at the Lakers’ practice facility was a rare one since he’s been diagnosed. He hasn’t been seen publicly at the team’s games, practices or shootarounds, and Walton recently said he hadn’t seen Ingram since the procedure.Most of that is his physical pain, which has limited him from getting around too much. But part of that is also the hurt of not being able to join his team.“Just the pain of watching and not being on the floor, I think,” he said. “I’m blessed that everything is going well, but for this to happen, and basketball to be the only thing I’m doing for eight hours a day, it’s a big change.”The Lakers are eager to welcome Ingram back into the fold, particularly if he regains the form he found before he was sidelined. His season-long scoring average (18.1 ppg) was a career-best, but after the All-Star break, he had reached another tier, averaging 24 points while shooting 53.4 percent from the field.Related Articles Lakers practice early hoping to answer all questions How athletes protesting the national anthem has evolved over 17 years Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img

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