Sixers’ Jalen McDaniels admits that hip injury is still bothering him
PHILADELPHIA–Philadelphia 76ers forward Jalen McDaniels has been a very helpful addition to the Sixers ever since he was acquired from the Charlotte Hornets back on Feb. 9 at the trade deadline. He has been a big presence as a perimeter defender and as somebody who fills an important role off the bench.
McDaniels was playing well before he suffered a hip issue in a March 12 win over the Washington Wizards. He was diagnosed with a right hip contusion and coach Doc Rivers after the game said he didn’t expect it to be anything serious and there was an expectation that he would play in their March 15 matchup with the Cleveland Cavaliers, but he wasn’t able to do so.
He ended up missing two games before returning on March 18 against the Indiana Pacers, and he definitely didn’t look like his normal self, but that’s to be expected considering he was just coming back from the injury after two games off.
He then played 8:34 in Monday’s double-overtime loss to the Chicago Bulls including only 51 seconds in the second half. Rivers explained afterward why he didn’t play him much.
“He didn’t look good,” Rivers stated. “That’s why I took him out. He wasn’t moving well so we took him off the floor.”
When asked if he is feeling hurt at the moment, McDaniels admitted that he is.
“Yeah, (expletive), yeah, I am,” McDaniels admitted. “I can’t really know what else to really say. I can’t really just move the way I want to, play how I want to, high motor, running, and things like that. It’s kinda like holding me back a little bit.”
When watching McDaniels in the two games with the Pacers and the Bulls, one can see that he isn’t all there just yet as he works his way back. There was a lob that Georges Niang threw to him on Monday and he wasn’t able to go get it like he usually would be able to. That is part of where the hip injury is limiting him.
“I would say all around,” he continued. “Like, Georges threw me a high pass I would’ve originally caught, but I feel like I couldn’t extend all the way, and then stuff like that. Rebounding, sprinting, part of that is part of my game, running the floor hard, and I feel like I haven’t even been sprinting hard because it’s just holding me back a little bit, but other than that, contact and stuff.”
McDaniels has already missed two games and in the two games he has played since returning, he hasn’t looked like himself. He isn’t sure if he will miss any more time as he continues to battle through and help the team, but time will tell.
“I’m not sure, really,” he added. “It’s all about my comfortability. I’ve been trying just to see how I feel out there. I’ve still been feeling kinda limited so we’ll see what’s the best plan to do.”
The Sixers will now travel to face the Bulls on Wednesday to begin a four-game road trip.
Doc Rivers talks James Harden, offensive struggles in Sixers' loss to Bulls
Doc Rivers explains why he didn't challenge 6th foul call on Joel Embiid
Player grades: Zach LaVine, Bulls knock off Sixers on the road in double OT