Originally written December 12, 2012 on NBA Injury News:
The Portland Trail Blazers, now 9-12, have good news heading their way. Both Wesley Matthews and Nicolas Batum are making progress and could be returning to action soon. Mike Tokito of The Oregon Live reported that the team is hoping to have both Matthews and Batum back by Thursday when the Blazers take on the Spurs. Both players made individual comments about their progress.“My back feels better,” Batum said. “I saw the chiropractor this morning. It’s not 100 percent, but it’s better than yesterday. I hope for Thursday.”The above quote was said on Tuesday, not today (Wednesday). As for Matthews:Matthews, who suffered a contusion and strain to his left hip flexor Saturday against Sacramento, said he came in early Tuesday to get some rehab work in, spent time in the pool and on the stationary bike, then later got some shots up.“I’m feeling better, but not anywhere near where it needs to be,” he said. “Slightly concerned, but still optimistic. “Chris Hayes, a writer that follows the Portland Trail Blazers, tweeted out the following today about both players progress.Doesn't look like Wes Matthews (hip), Nic Batum (back) went through a full practice today. They're out here, but not in full practice gear.— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) December 12, 2012Their return will likely depend on how they fare tomorrow morning, but this should be a sign of hope for fans of Blazers. in his fifth season in the NBA, Batum is averaging a career-high 16.4 points, 1.7 steals, 3.2 assists, and 5.8 rebounds a game in a career-high 37.8 minutes a game. This increase in productivity is likely a result of the loss of former starting forward Gerald Wallace, who was traded to the Nets last season. With the increased load, Batum's shooting averages have dropped to 42.3% from the field and 36.3% from beyond the arc.Wesley Matthews has also been producing more this season with his increased minutes (up 3.5 minutes which is good for 37.3 a game). He's averaging a career-high 16 points, 1.8 steals, and 2.6 assists per game. Unlike Batum, however, Matthews shooting percentages have risen. He's clipping 42.8% from the field and 39.9% from three, both improvements from last season.Follow @hoopsinjurynews!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://www.nbainjurynews.com//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs"); var _gaq = _gaq || []; _gaq.push(['_setAccount', 'UA-34100676-1']); _gaq.push(['_trackPageview']); (function() { var ga = document.createElement('script'); ga.type = 'text/javascript'; ga.async = true; ga.src = ('https:' == document.location.protocol ? 'https://ssl' : 'http://www') + '.google-analytics.com/ga.js'; var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s); })();

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