ATLANTA Boredom and junk food.
That is what Hawks guard Lou Williams said have filled his days since tearing his ACL two weeks ago to the day.
Very boring, very boring, Williams said. Just rehabbing, icing, rehab, icing, junk food, icing rehab, icing.
He said he had eaten at Zaxbys four times this week and expected to make it a fifth after speaking with reporters around lunch time.
You know, thats one of the things Im kind of enjoying right now before the surgery, he said. Ive been able to eat whatever it is I want. Afterwards, I need to lock back in and get my diet together.
Williams, whom the Hawks signed as a free agent to a multi-year deal in the offseason, was speaking for the first time on Friday since he injured himself in a game at Brooklyn. Williams, 26, was the teams third-leading scorer at 14.1 points per game and also had earned the role as one of the teams go-to shooter in late-game situations.
He also had begun to take on a leadership role with the team, as he has an assertive personality. He said he would try to maintain that as much as possible. He said he texts his teammates after games with messages like, That was a great game," or, "What were yall doing in the fourth quarter?
I hope I can still be around, he said. Obviously, with the surgery and rehab, I want to be there as much as I possibly can. Like I said, were still in the early stages of just trying to get everything organized. I still want to be very supportive of the guys and still have that camaraderie.
In his eighth season he skipped college, going directly from South Gwinnett High School to the NBA Williams said this is his first serious sports-related injury. As much as he said the injury frustrated him, he said his spirits remain high.
He showed that in using his sense of humor to put the injury in context and while talking about how it might affect him in the future.
Ive always played slow anyway, he said. Ive never been a Jeff Teague or Devin Harris-type of guy where I just run down the court and try to run into people or try to break defenses down off the dribble. Ive always taken my time with the basketball and just tried to score as much as I can. Hopefully, I can play the same if not better.
Yet he realizes he faces a long road back and that the process will not be a walk in the park. Williams has yet to have surgery but he said he expects that to happen in the next week or so and that his rehab will last about six to nine months.
He said he requested that his ACL surgery be performed by the same surgeon who repaired Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Petersons ACL and allowed Peterson to come back the following season and be able to challenge for the NFLs single-season rushing yardage record.
That doctor is James Andrews and Williams said the procedure would be performed at Andrews office in Gulf Breeze, Fla., near Pensacola.
Some guys dont come back as strong and then you have guys like Adrian Peterson who damn near break world records, so well see what happens, Williams said.
Sometimes when athletes return from serious injuries, they become tentative in going full-tilt in the area in which they were hurt. Williams is not concerned with that happening.
Im a very confident person, very confident in my abilities, he said. Again, Im very early in this stage so maybe Im being nave a little bit but I feel once the surgery is done, the rehabs done, Im cleared to play, Ill still be able to compete.
And hes anxious to get back with the Hawks and help build upon what theyve started. They enter Saturdays game at Philips Arena with Chicago fifth in the Eastern Conference at 26-19 but just two games behind the third-place Bulls.
Of course, with so many players having expiring contracts, the roster could be completely different by the time he can play again. Nonetheless, Williams is bullish, so to speak, on the Hawks.
I want to be part of this mode here, he said. I feel like were turning the corner here where guys are competing at a high level and once I come back I hope that only gets better.