LOS ANGELES — Marvin Williams’ rehab process from offseason surgery on his Achilles tendon will take another step forward today.
Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin was vague about what exactly Williams will be doing, but the small forward enthusiastically claims to be progressing.
“I feel good,” he said. “I’m getting better every day.”
Which means he must have a date circled on his calendar for returning, right?
“No,” he said. “I would circle today if I could.”
Williams started to be bothered by his sore Achilles tendon toward the end of last January, he told reporters at the Jazz’s shootaround Wednesday morning. He played through the nagging injury and hoped offseason rest would promote healing, but that didn’t happen, so he had surgery June 3 to repair the tendon.
At the time, the Jazz announced that he could be sidelined for about six months, which would put his possible return in the early December range.
In the meantime, the 27-year-old continues to work on conditioning and helping teammates as much as possible with helpful hints and support.
“It’s always tough to watch, especially when you’re kind of in the dog days of the season, training camp. You kind of want to suffer with your teammates,” Williams said.
“You want to be there for them. I try to get out there and do as much as I can, whether it’s non-contact or some of the conditioning stuff, just to let them know I’m still here trying to support them.”
Physically, Williams said the biggest thing missing from his post-surgery comeback is “getting explosive.” He’s still trying to recover the “big push” an athlete in his position needs to be competitive.
“I’m not very explosive right now,” Williams said. “The doctors told me when I got it (surgery) done that would probably be the last thing to kind of come back. I’m just working on it every day.”
Williams credited the training staff and Jazz player development coach Johnnie Bryant for helping him. Though he hasn’t been cleared to play basketball yet, Williams is able to do some court work. He said he’s doing “a lot of shooting, a lot of running, been doing some lifting as well.”
Looking back, Williams said the injury hampered his play “a great deal” in the second half of the 2012-13 season, the roughest of his eight-year career.
“It was very difficult to plant and cut and jump. I felt like I got to the league doing that,” he said. “When I couldn’t do that last season, it really affected my game. Hopefully, this year I got it taken care of and I’ll be back to normal.”
Williams, one of a handful of injured Jazz players, will continue to travel with the team until he’s back to full health.
“I will always be around,” he said, “if I can be around.”
Point guard Trey Burke is the only player who remained home in Utah during this three-game L.A. stay as he begins rehab from last Tuesday's surgery. Brandon Rush (knee), Jeremy Evans (rotator cuff) and Dominic McGuire (right ankle tendinitis) were also unavailable Wednesday.
EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org TWITTER: DJJazzyJody
Copyright 2016, Deseret News Publishing Company