It's a rare look into the relationship between player and therapist as they try, together, to get the player back on the court after a season-ending injury. Sergey Karasev and Lloyd Beckett, the Nets' Director of Physical Therapy, were interviewed separately, discussing the road back for the Nets youngest player.
For Karasev, the challenge was both mental -- the repetitive nature of the rehab -- and physical -- "I didn't really realize that it's going to be so painful." There's a of wincing in the video as well as some shots of the scars from when Dr. Riley J. Williams III, stitched him up following surgery to replace a torn MCL and dislocated right knee.
Still, he promises, "I'm ready to play. I really want it."
"First of all, you have to really prepared for this mentally, because it's the same thing every day, same schedule, same rehab so it's been really tough, but now, you keep going and it's getting interesting."
"The big thing with Sergey's rehab up to this point has been regaining his full range of motion. We start with Sergey on the treatment table where we work on some manual techniques, We did dry needling to help loosen up his hip flexor, his quad muscle, also did some soft tissue work in his hamstring area as well to help loosen up scar tissue and help that remodel correctly from where his graft was taken from."
"It really helped what i did on my leg and especially that I have all summer. So I can do rehab and be 100 percent, maybe 110 percent, ready for the next season."
"A lot of what we've been doing is range of motion, early strengthening, proprioceptive balancing to help him get ready for the next phase which in the next few weeks of so we should start some pre-running to running activities and get him out on the court a little bit."
"They help me a lot because I didn't really realize that it's going to be so painful. For the first time at the beginning and every day Lloyd especially, he push me, to go through this pain and he's helped me really really good this time."
"We're kind of the behind-the-scenes guys. We didn't get into this for the spotlight. That's what the players are for, but hearing that a player appreciates what you do for them, that's absolutely the highest compliment."
"This is my time right now, especially this summer, do the rehab, be stronger, be more athletic and try to be around the team all summer long and around the coach and show him I can improve my game and I really can be a successful player on this team for the next season and I'm ready to play. I really want it."
So far, Karasev's basketball activitiy has been limited to stationary free throw shooting ... which he did very well at. He's hopeful of being ready for full range of basketball activities in August and won't close out the possibility of joining Team Russia for FIBA Eurobasket in September. And, as he told Stefan Bondy, he hopes to follow the Nets summer league team on their tours of Orlando and Las Vegas in July.