Wesley Matthews, who had arthroscopic elbow surgery on May 29th, was cleared to shoot earlier this week. His initial timetable for recovery was 3-4 weeks and he managed to recover in less than 2. This is great news for the Blazers, as Wesley Matthews is their best 3-point shooter. With damaged tissue removed in May and the following stitches removed this week, Matthews can resume summer training.
The quick recovery also looks good for teams interested in a potential trade. Although Matthews’ name has cooled off at the rumor mill of late, he is one of Portland’s most moveable pieces. Should the Blazers exact a trade for, say, a center, Matthews is next in line on the trade table after Portland’s first round pick.
I do not think that will happen though. The Blazers seem more than happy to keep Matthews around, as they should be. Wesley is not without his flaws, but he brings more energy to the court than any other Blazer. With any luck, the arthroscopic debridement procedure has eased any previous discomfort and will allow for an even cleaner shot.
It would be nice to see Matthews make the leap from a good shooter to a true marksman. He has the potential for sure. As Lillard’s shot (sweet as it may be) continues to develop, he and Matthews could become a 1-2 backcourt punch to rival Curry and Thompson of the Golden State Warriors. This all starts with a clean bill of health.
More than anything, Matthews’ recovery signals the beginning of a fresh start. The injuries that plagued Portland at the end of last season have all healed. Aldridge (ankle) is good to go, Batum (shoulder/wrist) is good to go, and now Matthews (ankle/elbow) is finally good to go as well. Ideally, the addition of Dr. Christopher Stackpole to the Blazer staff will help prevent these problems from reoccurring.
Matthews averaged a career high 2.4 threes per game in the 2012-2013 season. He is expected to reach full strength by training camp.