OKC Thunder forward Patrick Patterson discusses past injuries

OKC Thunder, Patrick Patterson (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)
OKC Thunder, Patrick Patterson (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Injuries are a given for any athlete however, some are more serious than others. OKC Thunder forward Patrick Patterson detailed such in a recent interview.

When the OKC Thunder signed Patrick Patterson last summer, it was assumed by most, including Patterson, that the former Raptor would step into the Thunder’s starting lineup. Considering Taj Gibson departed for the Minnesota Timberwolves in free agency and Domantas Sabonis was included in the trade which brought in Paul George it was a reasonable assumption.

But, Patterson had his knee scoped on August 10, 2017, and the Thunder traded for Carmelo Anthony the day before training camp began. Therefore, Patterson’s starting spot was history, at least for the 2017-18 campaign.

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Barring any unforeseen moves, given training camp will commence in roughly two weeks, it appears to be a tight race between Patterson and Jerami Grant for the Thunder’s vacant starting forward spot. Taking into account Oklahoma City signed Patterson with the intention to start last summer, he should be in the lead to take over the vacant starting spot heading into his second season with OKC.

One of the multiple positives backing Patterson’s argument to start is unlike last season he is healthy heading into the season. Patterson recently discussed how Muller Sports Medicine helped improve his health in an SI now spot, via Muller Sports Medicine:

"“Mueller tape is the only tape I use before games,” Patterson says. “It has a nice stretch to it, but also keeps my ankle in a comfortable position while allowing it to still move with no resistance.” He says Mueller’s ankle braces “fit perfectly, almost like a sock,” and he started using the kinesiology tape for the first time this season on his right wrist after spraining it. That product, Patterson says, “helped with not only my shooting, but the recovery process as well.”"

Many Thunder fans are aware Patterson had knee surgery last summer. However, some or maybe even most of Thunder Nation was likely unaware Patterson fractured his ankle when he was in college.

An ankle fracture is serious in itself, but it is particularly serious in an NBA big man. In Patterson’s case, it seems he is not suffering from any residual effects from his severe ankle injury on or off the hardwood.

Patterson also touched on his minor wrist injury he sustained last season, sighting how the Muller kinesiology tape greatly helped the injury improve. Which, showed on the court, as Patterson shot 27.6 percent from 3-point range in February vs. 46.9 percent from beyond the arc in March.

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In conclusion, if Patterson stays healthy for all or most of the upcoming season his presence, especially from the perimeter will fit into a defined role for the Thunder, a role Carmelo Anthony could not, or would not accept last season.