A year ago, Pistons guard Reggie Jackson was dealing with a sore left knee that caused him to miss the first 21 games of the season, but he tells Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press he believes that problem is in the past.
“With my knee, I’m feeling good,” Jackson said. “With the health of it, I’m feeling great. I just got to do the best I can to take care of it. The team is doing a great job of monitoring it. I’ve had no setbacks. I’m on pace, which is to be ready by training camp.”
Jackson’s early-season absence, followed by inconsistent play once he returned, was a major reason for the Pistons’ 37-45 record a year after making the playoffs. Jackson managed just 52 games, and his scoring, rebounding, assists and shooting numbers were all down significantly from 2015/16.
Diagnosed with chronic tendinitis, Jackson spent the offseason trying to manage the condition. He recently finished a 16-week protocol designed to cut down the strain of summer workouts. Under the supervision of team physical therapist Mark Cranston, Jackson’s basketball-related activities were limited to light shooting and jumping off one leg.
Jackson, who underwent platelet-rich plasma injections last fall, believes he made a mistake by trying to get back on the court as quickly as possible.
“It came about unexpectedly,” Jackson said. “Got injured and the whole key was to try to rush back in six weeks. We went into three weeks of the season, but the goal each day was to try to get back as soon as possible vs. knowing you have a nice amount of time to really take care of the knee and build everything up.”
Jackson believes the knee is ready, but he can’t be certain until he can test it under game conditions.
“We won’t know until you are in competition and you get to see it,” Jackson said. “If I can get the burst by my man, if I can make the play like I did two years ago. That will be the only true test of knowing it. It feels healthy, but it’s really going to be playing to figure out what it truly is.”