Jonny Flynn says he won't be fully recovered until next season
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota Timberwolves' point guard Jonny Flynn admitted what most had already assumed: this is a rehab season.
"I think by next year, by the start of next season, whether there is a lockout or no lockout, I think ill be back and ready to go," Flynn said before Sunday's 126-123 win over the Golden State Warrirs. . "This is just a year to get back in the flow of things and keep finding myself."
Flynn has struggled mightily since returning from off season hip surgery in December, averaging just 5.6 points, 3.2 points and 2.4 turnovers in 19 minutes a game. Flynn has been firmly behind Luke Ridnour in the starting lineup and has started just eight games while Ridnour was away from the team while dealing with a family issue.
Fans have been frustrated by Flynn's erratic play all season and watching Stephen Curry -- who the Wolves passed on twice in the 2009 draft to pick Flynn and Ricky Rubio -- go off for 33 points certainly didn't help matters.
"This year has definitely been challenging," Flynn said. "I'm not going to lie. But it is what it is for me to get back to where I need to be. It's only making me a stronger person and a better player."
Flynn is dealing with rehab for the first time in his young career and admits taking a bit of a cavalier approach to it.
I didn't think (it would take this long)," he said. "I am thinking I am 21 years old, that I could just recover by drinking some water or something like that."
Flynn said he deals with "tightness" in his legs and he doesn't think he will make it back to 100 percent before the season ends in April.
"Never say never," he said. "But to get that rhythm back I had last year with a month left in the season is kind of shaky. But you never know. Crazier things have happened. I think it is really going to take a full summer of really just going after it everyday and really focus completely on my rehab to get back to where I need to be."
One of the complications of Flynn's injury is how uncommon it is. Unlike an torn ACL or a broken anke, there isn't much of a precedent set on how a basketball player should rehab from this hip surgery. Vikings wide receiver Sidney Rice had the same procedure done by the same doctor and Flynn has corresponded with him about rehab.
"He would say little things, different machines I can use, different stretches, things like that," he said. "But everyone has a different body. His body is different than mine, my body is different than his, your body is different from mine. So the recovery process can be slowed down just depending on who you are."
A reporter pointed out to Flynn that Rice returned to action and was effective in a much shorter time period than Flynn, in a more physical sport, no less, but Flynn said it wasn't a fair comparison.
"I think, especially in the game of football, it's quick four, five second interval plays. Four or five seconds than you go sit in the huddle, you get to sit off and watch the defense play, you get to sit out and watch special teams," he said.
"But in basketball, it is continuous. Continuous cuts. Continuous beating. Getting hit by a pick. It's just continuous running. And I think as a football player, coming back from an injury like that, that will be helpful that you can get little breaks during the game like that."
It is almost a bit of a surprise that Flynn is still on the team roster after his name was thrown around in countless trade rumors leading up to the deadline. There was said to be a deal with Houston that fell through when Phoenix made a better the Rockets a better offer.
"You never know what to think when you go through the trade rumors," he said. "You've been through it. You hear all the rumors and you see the stuff on the internet and you see the things on TV but you never really know what's going on behind closed doors. You hope you can stay, you just hope things work out for you but you never really know what is going on."
The standard line athletes usually give when it comes to media coverage is that they don't pay any attention to it, saying they don't read what it is written about it. But Flynn is one who routinely admits to reading his press clippings.
"If you watch TV, you follow rumors. If you read the internet, you follow rumors. When people say they don't hear what people are saying about them and all the things that are going on, they are lying. You hear everything. It's hard to block out but you just have to keep doing what you've been doing," he said.