Charlotte might have to play with key big man Al Jefferson hobbled for Game 2 of its Eastern Conference matchup against the Miami Heat. Bobcats coach Steve Clifford told media on Sunday that Jefferson "ripped something" in his injured foot in their Game 1 loss, 99-88.
Bobcats coach Steve Clifford says Al Jefferson "ripped something" with his plantar fasciitis. Sounds problematic.— Joseph Goodman (@JoeGoodmanJr) April 20, 2014
Jefferson ended up tweaking his foot early in the first quarter against the Heat, and had to come out and rest on the bench. He would eventually return to the game, scoring 18 points and grabbing 10 rebounds in 35 minutes of play. When the Bobcats' leading scorer did return, however, his mobility on both ends of the floor was clearly limited.
Plantar fasciitis can be a debilitating issue for basketball players, especially NBA big men, whose large frames put extra weight on the flexing muscles of the foot. The injury is a tightening and inflammation of muscles running along the bottom of the foot, from heel to ball. It can cause anywhere from mild discomfort while running and jumping, to extreme tightness that can result in a tear.
Jefferson needed a shot to be able to play after feeling a rip in his plantar fascia.— Rick Bonnell (@rick_bonnell) April 20, 2014
Speaking to reporters on Sunday, Jefferson has said that he will continue to play through the pain in the playoffs. The Bobcats have a tough task ahead of them, and are down 1-0 to the Heat after they lost the opening game in Miami.
Game 2 of the series continues on Wednesday, April 23 at 7 p.m. ET on TNT.