Last week, at the USA Basketball minicamp in Las Vegas, Paul George raised eyebrows with his play. The Oklahoma City forward showed the scoring skills that enticed the Thunder to trade for him in 2017.
It may not be a coincidence.
Not only did George have arthroscopic surgery on his left knee May 9, but he also had 18 to 20 ounces of blood drained in his shooting elbow this offseason, according to a story published Tuesday by the Washington Post.
“I had a huge sac, 18 to 20 ounces of blood just sitting in the sac of my elbow, so I had that aspirated,” George said in the piece. “I was dealing with that for pretty much the whole season. That was causing a lot of frustration with shooting, and playing. To be able to shoot again, to be able to feel confident in my shot, to not have that on my mind, playing on the court … I’m great going forward.”
George averaged 21.9 points and 5.7 rebounds per game this past year, which was a slight dip from his 23.7 average the year prior with the Indiana Pacers. That said, he was able to convert 43 percent from beyond-the-arc, which was the second best percentage in his career.
As far as the knee, George told the Washington Post it is “doing good.”
“It still has a long way to go. … It looks like I’m doing well, but I’m still working through some stuff, and still working on trusting and putting full confidence in my leg,” George said. “I’m a little ways away, but there’s no pain, there’s no swelling, there’s nothing I’m concerned about. I’m just not at the level I need to be. There’s no limitations. All it is is taking steps, all it is is progression. I’m just trying to get ready and prepare for training camp down the line.”
Earlier this offseason, George headlined the beginning of free agency, re-signing with the Thunder. He agreed to a four-year contract, locking him up for the long-haul. On the other hand, these surgeries will help him continue playing for the long-haul.
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