Brandon Knight showed flashes as a rookie point guard last season but it was abundantly clear that he needed to take a big step forward if he was going to develop into a top-tier (or even average) point guard. Unfortunately, that step might be hindered by considerable pain in his foot as it has been reported that he is dealing with plantar fasciitis.
Keith Langlois broke the news and he makes it sound like no big deal. And it might not be anything more than a minor bump in the road as Knight prepares for training camp:
Brandon Knight was born eager. So he's been restless this week, waiting for Arnie Kander to turn him loose as he nurses a mild case of plantar fasciitis while his teammates have logged the first full-court scrimmages of the off-season at the Pistons' practice facility.
"Arnie wants me to take it slow," he said, the last one still in the gym, getting called away only when Kander pops his head out of the training room to beckon the team's 20-year-old point guard for a therapy session. "Me, I'm trying to get out there now. But as soon as I get out there and start doing something, he's ‘Whoa, whoa, whoa.' "
And about that plantar fasciitis: Knight first felt it crop up in Orlando, when the Pistons plunged right into two-a-day practices, but he played through the injury. It was still nagging him at longtime NBA assistant Tim Grgurich's skills camp. Lawrence Frank, at the camp as an observer, urged Knight to shut it down midway through the week and Kander has been monitoring it ever since.
"I can get up and down now, but Arnie wants me to take it slow. Next week, hopefully, I can test it out and see how it feels. It should be fine by next week. He's just being careful with it to make sure it's nothing that crops up during the season."
It's good that everyone believe that this is a minor case and it is great news that the Pistons organization is being careful to ensure recovery. But anytime plantar fasciitis crops up I get very worried. The only fix is extended time off the court, and isn't the kind of injury that a player can't "play through."
That means a team will usually opt to let a player keep playing with the injury and that usually leads to the player not performing at his usual effectiveness. Needless to say, Knight can't afford to have a season-long injury hinder his play and development.
I'm sure this is probably much ado about nothing but it will be something worth keeping an eye on.