Jeremy Lin may be far away, but he’s trying to stay close.
The Brooklyn Nets point guard, who ruptured his right patella tendon on Opening Night in October, has been rehabbing in Vancouver, but keeping in contact with many in the organization, including Kenny Atkinson. Even before Lin came to the borough, the two had worked together, going back to Linsanity when Atkinson suggested to Mike D’Antonio that he play the undrafted kid out of Harvard.
Asked about Lin’s progress at Monday’s practice, Atkinson deferred questions about Lin’s recovery to the team’s medical staff, but said the 29-year-old is doing “great.”
“You’d have to talk to our medical group about where he is,” Atkinson said. “I know it’s going great; he’s thrilled with where he is.
“I know Jeremy, he’ll tell everyone he’s ready to play tomorrow so don’t take his word for it. I would not ask him,” Atkinson added with a smile.
Lin —and his fans— have been posting short YouTube videos of his workouts at Fortius Sport & Health in Burnaby, British Columbia.
The videos are good news for the Nets and Lin since reports after his injury suggested he might not be running or jumping until April. So it appears Lin is ahead of schedule. He’s also said that the surgery to repair his patella tendon also cleaned out some “loose bodies” that were unrelated to his recent injury, but had been giving him pain.
The texts between coach and player aren’t just about his health. Atkinson revealed a bit of an exchange with Lin he’s had recently on the Nets play. Atkinson, who has texted regularly with his point guard in the past, says Lin had a short but sweet uplifting message for him.
“He said hang in there,” Atkinson recalled, followed by a slight smirk. “He knows the right time to send that text. He’s my counselor, you know, he gets it. And I’ll send him a text a week later, ‘hang in there.’ He’s going through … this path and this road to improvement, we’ve all been there, the journey, it can be a struggle at times. We are pounding that ceiling trying to break through, I can guarantee you that. I think we’re looking at every advantage.”
Atkinson has in the past talked about Lin’s involvement with the team, despite being 3,000 miles away in B.C. Last month, the coach talked about the extent of his texts.
“He’s so involved. He’s not just sitting there doing his own thing,” Atkinson said of Lin back in February. “He’s always hitting me with stuff after the game; ‘you could’ve done this, you could’ve done that’, it’s great. And I know our medical team is all over him. He’s in a really good place, he’s happy with how he’s progressing.”
Lin, of course, opted in to the third year of his three-year $36 million deal just after the trade deadline.