From what I understand, hopefully the last five games of the season – that's eight weeks from now – I'm looking to come back then. But when I had [an injury my freshman year of high school] I healed two months early, so maybe my foot will heal fast and I'll be back before then. It's not really something I want to rush, but if the doctor gives me the okay I'll be ready to play.
Have you talked to other people who had this injury to see how long it took them to come back?
Yeah, I talked to Coach Smith today and he said they had some guys who had it and they waited until after the season was over to put the screw in and as soon as they did the same procedure that they did to me to J.R. Reid, that he was back in six weeks – healthy and playing fine. So hopefully six weeks, that's a good timeframe for me.
How difficult has it been?
It was tough. I didn't travel with them to Miami, I went back home and rested. It was hard watching them play and it'll be hard tonight – but my main focus is keeping a positive attitude and helping the best way I can by talking to Byron and Damion and just trying to basically be a cheerleader.
How's it feel walking around with that boot all the time?
It's not too much pain. After surgery they said I'd be in a lot of pain, but I wasn't in hardly any pain and so far it looks good. Getting ready to start rehab, hopefully stay in shape and get back.
What type of exercise will you do to stay in shape?
Right now until I get my stitches out, mainly just lifting. Saturday morning I get my stitches out and Sunday I start my water workouts in the pool – an hour a day – and riding the bike. Hopefully by the time I get back I'll be all right.
Any regrets on how this was handled – knowing you could have broken it that night?
From what I understand, it could have been put in a boot and could have still broke when I came out of the boot. I have no regrets. Dr. Taft – I trust him and everything he's done – he's one of the best surgeons in the country and I'm fine with the way everything went.
How hard is it sitting?
It's tough. I'm a competitor and I love to play the game. This lets me know that I can't take it for granted. Next time I may never be able to play again if I blow out a knee or something. A lot of guys take the game for granted and it just puts things in perspective. Right now I'd just be dying to be out there with them tonight.
Are you going to go to practices?
Yeah, I have to go to all the practices. Somedays I'll do my rehabs in between. Towards the time I'm close to coming back on the court I feel I need to be at all the practices, so that I'm really not lacking when I get back out there.
Do you talk to Byron and Damion a lot?
I talk to Byron after every game. After the Miami game I called him and talked to him and told him some things I thought he could have done. Damion and I have a great relationship, I talk to him a lot. He's struggling right now not getting many minutes and he's wondering what he can do better – and I just help him out with whatever I can. I'm not a coach, so I just try to be a good teammate and a good friend.
What's your feel on the mentality of the team right now?
They feel fine. We all knew Miami was a game we should have won. That's not like us and we didn't have a good game. The focus yesterday in practice – everyone was intense. It wasn't the best practice that we had, but I think everybody is really focused and ready to play.
We took a couple losses and no one likes to lose. Then you start questioning some things, but the overall mentality we're all happy and trying to get a whole grasp of everything and try to find out why things aren't flowing like they were earlier in the season and try to get it going when we head into ACC play.
What were your thoughts watching the game Saturday knowing that maybe if you could play the team could have held on?
I just try not to say ‘if I was there I could have made a difference' because that's not necessarily the case. It was hard for me. There are so many mistakes that once you are off the floor and watch it yourself you can see it. We're a young team, we're going to make those mistakes and we're going to lose some games, but the key is that games like that we've got to have. We had the game and we let them back in it – they just took it from us.
What type of advice is your father giving you as a former player?
He said "just play." It's an injury that you can't help. It happened for a reason. He had a few injuries in his career and said you just got to deal with it. The main thing is don't worry about the fact that you can't play – try to help them as best you can, try to get healthy, make sure you stay in shape, make sure you watch your eating habits and make sure you come back strong.