Portland Trail Blazers guard Matthews celebrates three-point shot against Dallas Mavericks in Portland

Blazers’ Matthews attempts to rehab ankle

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The Oregonian’s Joel Freeman has some surprising news on the health of Blazers guard Wesley Matthews:

When Wesley Matthews collapsed to the floor during a fluke post-practice accident in January, he hobbled into the trainer’s room in noticeable pain but was seemingly fine. He started at shooting guard the next night, scoring 26 points in a victory over the Phoenix Suns, and went on to play all 82 regular season games.

Turns out, however, that Matthews had suffered a torn tendon in his right ankle during that freak post-practice tumble. He played 48 games, including the playoffs, with the ailment but labored behind the scenes.

“People don’t really know this, but over the last two months of the season I couldn’t feel my right foot,” Matthews said Monday. “It was completely numb.”

When the Blazers’ season ended with a first-round loss to the Dallas Mavericks, Matthews visited two doctors to learn the extent of his injury and explore treatments. Both offered two options: A cortisone shot or surgery.

So Matthews sought a third opinion. That doctor suggested he try a Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injection, the same procedure that Brandon Roy underwent on his hamstring in January 2010 and later on his knees. The procedure involves extracting a patient’s blood, running it through a centrifuge — which separates red blood cells from platelets — and re-injecting the resulting fluid into the injured area.

“I wanted to do everything I could to avoid surgery,” Matthews said. “I talked to three doctors and the last one introduced the PRP injection. When I heard about the PRP, I said, ‘All right, let’s try it.'”

After undergoing the procedure in May and wearing a protective boot for six weeks, Matthews had his boot removed Wednesday. The procedure is not foolproof — in some cases, surgery is the only solution for Matthews’ injury — but Matthews says early indications are positive.

Matthews averaged 15.9 points on 40.7% shooting from beyond the arc in his sophomore campaign. The Blazers owe Matthews around $7 million a year through the 2014-15 season, so they must be praying that Matthews’ PRP treatments prove effective and don’t have any long-term effect on his abilities as a player.

Watch Kobe Bryant’s entire retirement-announcement press conference (video)

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Kobe Bryant reflected, told stories and showed his emotions.

For nearly 25 minutes, the Lakers star talked about his pending retirement. It was pretty cool.

Report: Wizards signing Ryan Hollins

Blake Griffin, Ryan Hollins
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Nene hurt his calf. Drew Gooden is banged up. Martell Webster is out for the season.

Those are three players the Wizards expected to play power forward this season.

So, Washington – which has lost four straight – will bring in another big man: Ryan Hollins.

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:

The Wizards have a full roster of 15 players. They don’t qualify for a hardship exemption, which a team gets if four players have missed three straight games and will continue to be out. Only Webster and Alan Anderson definitely fit that bill. Gooden, who has missed five straight, might. But it’s unclear both how many of those absences were due to injury and when he’ll return.

So, Washington will have to waive someone to sign Hollins now. It’ll probably be Webster, whose $5,845,250 2016-17 salary is just $2.5 million guaranteed. If he’s out for the year and the Wizards plan to drop him by the summer to clear cap space, why not just do it now?

Hollins is more center than power forward and doesn’t appear to fit well with Marcin Gortat. But at this point, Washington just needs big bodies. Hollins – a nine-year veteran who plays decent interior defense, lacks offensive skill and rebounds poorly for his 7-foot frame – is at least that.

Dwight Howard crushes Kristaps Porzingis with dunk (video)

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Sometimes – as Kristaps Porzingis sees against Dwight Howard – it’s more flattering just to play James Harden-level defense.