"When it started giving me problems I didn't say anything, not because I was scared but more because I thought it was just a tweak and it would go away..."I'm not saying I took things for granted, but I was always just expected to have my athleticism and when my back started hurting it was tough to not be able to run and jump. It was hard for me." Hickson told The Cleveland Plain Dealer in an interview last week.
This summer JJ had hoped to get some run, and get back into playing shape while participating in the Cavs summer league. Those plans were scratched when JJ's back started acting up again. He was forced to rest and allow it to fully heal. Now, almost three months later, Hickson is all healed up and itching to get back on the floor this season. He is already participating in workouts and is says he is back to 100%.
"It's not giving me problems anymore, I feel really good," Hickson said. "I'm at the point where I am confident I'll be able to surpass what I did last year." he said.
The Cavs, obviously, are taking Hickson's words to heart, as they have left open a spot for Hickson to win minutes. The Cavs had the option to go out and sign a player that they know would come in healthy and with more experience that could give them one less worry, they opted against it. They believe in JJ Hickson and want to see him develop into a true rotation player for them this season, something JJ knows and is driven by, and motivating him to participate in extra workouts with Lebron James.
"To be with Bron working out and to see the high expectations he has of me is a real confidence builder," Hickson said. "Last year I felt like I was playing on pins and needles but this year I'm already feeling a lot more comfortable and my game is developing more."
quotes/photo courtesy of Cleveland Plain Dealer (Cleveland.com)