The list of Trail Blazers who have been injured during training camp got a little longer on Tuesday with Nicolas Batum suffering a concussion during practice on Tuesday. He will not play in Wednesday night’s preseason game against the Suns at the Moda Center.
The injury occurred when Batum collided midair with Will Barton, who also suffered a concussion early in training camp, while driving to the basket. Batum reportedly hit the basket stanchion after the collision. It’s not known whether it was the collision with Barton or the stanchion that caused the concussion, but it is clear that he will not be in uniform for Wednesday night’s game.
The NBA instituted a new policy on concussions in 2011, which require a player diagnosed with a concussion to “complete a series of steps to confirm that he’s healthy enough for competition. Once he is free of symptoms, the player must make it through increasing stages of exertion – from a stationary bike, to jogging, to agility work, to non-contact team drills – while ensuring the symptoms don’t return after each one. Then the neurologist hired to lead the NBA’s concussion program needs to be consulted before the player is cleared.”
As a point of reference, Barton was diagnosed with a concussion on October 3 and was cleared to play four days later at the Wells Fargo Fan Fest on October 7. Then again, no two concussions are the same, so there’s no guarentee that Batum’s timeline for return will be similar to Barton’s.
Batum joins Barton, LaMarcus Aldridge (strained left quad), Mo Williams (sprained left ankle), Earl Watson (left quad contusion) and CJ McCollum (broken left foot) as players who have been sidelined in one form or another during training camp and preseason due to injury.
No word yet on who will start in Batum’s place, though Dorell Wright, who did not play in Monday night’s loss to the Clippers, would be the likely choice if healthy.