WALKER: Injuries can put pressure on players

When players like Derrick Jasper and Jodie Meeks are hurt, a lot of different things have to be going through their minds. No. 1, you enjoy playing basketball and you want to get back to playing basketball at any costs. Sometimes you rush back. Meeks is expected back as early as tomorrow against Houston.

I know when I was in the NBA and I got hurt, I felt a little guilty sitting on the side in practice when my teammates were working hard. I had some teammates come back and make fun and call me a baby and say I was a wimp for being out hurt.

You know that they are just kind of joking, but you do feel guilty.

There is a lot of pressure on you to get back out on the floor, and you put a lot of pressure on yourself along with pressure from other people.

But when you are going through an injury, you know your body better than anybody. Don't step out on the floor until you are 100 percent. If you are not 100 percent, the media and people watching the game are not going to know that you are not 100 percent. They are going to assume you are. You have to be careful not to push it too much and do what is best for you.

Meeks and Jasper are both getting pretty close to that timeline now where it is going to be pushing it for them to be able to come back and help. Not only do they have to come back from their injuries, but they have to get back in shape and that is going to take some time. We all know that sometimes when you are injured and are not in shape, that is when you can be prone to get injured even more.

It's tough, especially when look at this Kentucky team. Kentucky needs Meeks. Kentucky needs Jasper. I don't think they can do great with one of them. They need both of them back to have a chance to have a good team. So there is that pressure to get back. They have to feel that. They have to be smart in what they do.

I have never heard of Meeks' injury, but Jasper's injury based on cases I have read about, nobody has come back in less than a year. If they heal quickly that is great, but if not, you have to be smart.

It's all about winning in today's game and that is what drives every program in the country. But by the same token, some coaches really push guys to fight through those injuries. Then you have a guy like Rick Pitino that maybe could have had another championship if he put Derek Anderson on the floor to play after he had been hurt, but then maybe Derek doesn't have a 10-year pro career.

Only thing I can say about them coming back, being redshirted or whatever, is that they need to monitor how they feel and be smart. It's a fine line between being brave and being stupid. They have to look at their particular cases and not worry what anyone else thinks.

AllWildcats Top Stories