Dallas Mavericks point guard Deron Williams and owner Mark Cuban have something in common.
They both have a sports hernia.
Williams doesn’t know when he’ll be able to play again after an MRI this past Monday revealed the injury.
I’ve been playing through it and it progressively got worse and worse. I’ve never had a sports hernia before, so I didn’t know what it is.
Mavericks’ Deron Williams on playing with a sports hernia
Premium content for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
Following the Mavs’ shootaround Friday morning at The Palace of Auburn Hills, Williams said he’s been taking anti-inflammatories to help alleviate the situation, and hopes the injury doesn’t require surgery.
“I’ve been playing through it and it progressively got worse and worse,” Williams said. “I’ve never had a sports hernia before, so I didn’t know what it is.
“But I’ve been joking with [head athletic trainer] Casey [Smith] and telling him ‘I think I have a hernia.’ And then after the MRI, it kind of confirmed it.”
Cuban, who has been dealing with a sports hernia for about seven months, can relate to what Williams is experiencing.
“I have one — I just haven’t gotten it fixed,” Cuban said. “It tinges, it hurts some, but it’s not bad. You just got to worry about your guts popping out.”
Cuban said he didn’t know surgery was an option for Williams.
“Sports hernias are easy to fix,” Cuban said. “I just ask him how he’s feeling.”
It’s just one of those things you kind of just got to figure out how much pain you can tolerate playing through.
Williams missed his fifth straight game Friday when the Mavs defeated the Detroit Pistons. The 12-year veteran doesn’t know how long he’ll be sidelined, but said the plan is for him to return at some point before the regular season ends.
“It’s just one of those things you kind of just got to figure out how much pain you can tolerate playing through,” Williams said. “In talking with them, it’s something that it can be played through and hopefully strengthen, and after rest and stuff like that it’s something that’ll hopefully go away and I won’t need surgery for. That’s kind of the point right now.”
Williams is second on the Mavs in scoring (14 points per game) and leads the team in assists with 5.8 per contest.
“It got pretty bad in the Portland game, and then the practice that day I tried to do a little bit and it just was killing me,” Williams said. “I knew something was going on, I just didn’t know what it was.
“I had a feeling what it was, but after the MRI and talking to the docs I’m definitely more optimistic. The anti-inflammatories that I’ve been on have me feeling a little bit better.”
Coach Rick Carlisle wouldn’t say if Williams will be able to play in Sunday’s game at Minnesota.
“He’s doubtful for today, and then we don’t have a timetable really,” Carlisle said. “He’s getting a little bit better, but we’ll see. I can’t tell you exactly what’s going to happen.”
Williams played 39 minutes and finished with 12 points and 11 assists in the Mavs’ 109-103 loss at Portland on March 23. And with the Mavs in a playoff race, it’s been difficult for Williams to watch his teammates put everything on the line.
“We’re trying to make the playoffs and make a push,” Williams said. “It’s frustrating to have to be on the sidelines watching in a suit.”
How long Williams will continue wearing a suit on the sidelines, no one knows for sure.
“When you’re without one of your top players, it’s going to get more difficult,” Carlisle said. “We’re hoping that he can feel better so that he can come back and play.”