Another Year, Another Injury for Raef

April 2, 2007

What is it with Raef LaFrentz and his first year in a new place?

In his first year in Denver, he tore the ACL in his left knee and played 12 games. In his first year in Boston, he had season-ending knee surgery after 17 games. And now, in his first year in Portland, he has torn his left calf four times and has played in only 17 games.

"It's been hurting my calf, recovering, hurting my calf, recovering," LaFrentz said. "It's been tough mentally, very frustrating, because I haven't been able to get on the court. And when I have been able to play, I haven't been utilized, which is understandable because I've been out so much."

LaFrentz spoke Friday before practice, hoping he could play last night against the Clippers and end a streak of not playing that dated back to Jan. 29.

"I'm just hoping to be able to get back on the floor, finish the season strong, and then spend the summer rehabbing. But it's been a pretty uneventful year."

In his last two years with the Celtics, LaFrentz missed only two games while averaging 27.5 and 24.8 minutes a game each season. (He was the only Celtic to appear in all 82 games last year.) This year, he hasn't even played 23 minutes in a single game and has played 142 minutes all season.

"The injury kept recurring," he said. "You don't know what to do differently. You rest. You try to strengthen it. Then it happens again.

"It's easier having surgery because you know what's wrong, you take the avenue to correct it, and then you have a timetable for recovery. This is kind of a guessing game and you either get it right or you don't."

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