Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Strong Start to Season for Fields, Who Is Still Recovering from Elbow Surgery

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Strong Start to Season for Fields, Who Is Still Recovering from Elbow Surgery

Article excerpt

Fields still recovering from surgery


TORONTO - His elbow still isn't 100 per cent, he hasn't completely regained the strength or the control in his hand.

But nearly a year after Landry Fields had surgery to ease symptoms caused by nerve damage in his elbow, he's learning to adapt his game to his healing right arm, and looking more and more like the player the Toronto Raptors had hoped for when they acquired the small forward in the summer of 2012.

"I'm proud of him," teammate Kyle Lowry said. "Last year, he had surgery, he's had a lot of things going on with him, I'm just happy he's back out there, playing the way everyone knows he can play."

The 25-year-old has averaged 6.4 points and 5.6 points a night anchoring the second unit.

"Landry's been solid," said Raptors coach Dwane Casey. "He's probably our most consistent guy on both ends of the floor. He's a utility guy, he's very valuable to what we do because he can guard multiple positions, he can play point guard, offensively he's one of our best attack-distribute guys, even at the four position. Really glad to see him healthy from where he was last year."

Fields, a starter for much of his two seasons with the New York Knicks, got off to horrible start in Toronto, shooting just 20.8 per cent from the field and averaging just 2.3 points in his first five games after signing a three-year, US$19 million contract in the off-season.

It turns out he was having problems with his hand. He underwent ulnar nerve transposition surgery in November and sat out the next six weeks. The surgery was to alleviate nerve compression in his right elbow that had been causing his right hand to involuntarily curl up like a claw -- a horrible problem to have when shooting a basketball is your livelihood.

The recovery, however, wasn't as quick and easy as he'd expected. Nerves heal at their own pace, and sometimes don't heal entirely at all.

"The nerve regeneration takes a very long time and that was the biggest shock to me, I thought I'd have surgery, and boom, I'm back," Fields said. …

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