Once again Derrenmatts over on Celtics Green has posted some very good thoughts. Jefferson has been labeled as soft and written off by a lot of fans. I would have to say that the exact opposite is true. The kid had real damage in his ankle and was told to "play through the pain" and to "suck it up" and he did just what he was told. He tried to play toward the end of the season. He has been working out and tried to play through it in summer league, but the pain just wouldn't go away. Even players as great as Larry Bird, who was known to play through a lot of pain, had to shut it down and have surgery when he had bone chips in his ankles. Jefferson has been treated very unfairly by fans and the Celtics' organization alike. He had to go to the press himself to present the truth about the damage in his ankle. The doctors and the Celtics' brass were all saying it was minor and exploratory, and nothing was there. Technically, Big Al could sue them for slander... I have a feeling that the chip this season won't be in Al's ankles but on his shoulder and will cause him to have a breakout year and silence his critics for good. Thanks to Derren for another good piece...
Jefferson's bright career took a detour when he injured his ankle prior to the start of training camp last season. He came off a promising rookie campaign, highlighted by a really good showing in the 1st round of the playoffs against Indiana. It wasn't a matter of 'if' Jefferson was going to be a force, but a matter of 'when' he was going to arrive.
Last year was a mostly wasted year for Jefferson because of his early ankle injury, which knocked him off course for the early part of the season. He came back eager to build upon his promising rookie season, and for a short while, it looked like he was ready to explode. But then he severly sprains his ankle again, which takes him out for the rest of the season and ends his chances of redeeming his up and down sophomore season.
Initially, we were told that it was just a severly sprained ankle with a bone bruise. No big deal, right? A month or two of rest and relaxation, and after that, he'll be all better and ready to get back in the gym to work tirelessly on his game to prove himself for the upcoming season. But that wasn't the case. After lingering pain kept him from competing at full strength in the summer league games, and after people started questioning his heart and his ability to tolerate some pain, Jefferson began to question what was really wrong with his ankle. Why was it taking this long to get rid of the nagging pain in his ankle, which prevented him from going more than 2 weeks without shutting down.
Well, now its revealed that the cause of his recurring pain in his bothersome ankle that bothered him for months on end were bone chips that needed to be immdiately removed.
So finally, Jefferson's ankle has been properly taken care of, and now he can resume getting back on the track to stardom.
If we look at this season as Jefferson's second season, and minus out last year due to ankle injuries that have derailed his sophomore year, we can once again get excited for this kid's future.
It just wasn't fair to him, or to the fans who believe in him, that so many disappinted fans were calling him a bust because he didn't show significant growth from his rookie season. How could he when he was playing on a bum ankle for most of the year? Its tough enough that he's trying to learn how to play the post, how to play defense, and how to rebound at the highest level of basketball competition in the world, coming straight out of high school. To have to play on one leg only isn't a fair deal for any player, not even proven veterans, let alone a raw 20 year old familiarizing himself and transitioning himself into the NBA game.
Getting his ankle issue out of the way and eliminating the constant pain that held him back from performing to his capabilities will allow Jefferson to shine on the court once again. [More] source: Derrenmatts - Celtics Green