Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Outlaw Out But Not Down
It figures Travis Outlaw would break his foot trying to make a play on defense.
For a guy who is maligned by his detractors for playing less than average defense, it seems cruelly poetic that Outlaw would injure himself on a routine closeout. And I don’t know about you, but when I think about the irony of a high-flyer like Outlaw being struck down on a play where he didn’t even leave his feet, it reinforces my belief that the fates do in fact have a twisted sense of humor.
So it’s easy to see why Outlaw would curse his bad luck. Things were just starting to come together, for Travis and the team in general, and then a snap; there goes the fifth metatarsal. And in a contract year, that snap could end up being rather expensive.
But that’s not the way Outlaw is looking at it. Ever true to his happy-to-lucky attitude, Outlaw is dealing with the first major injury of his pro career with aplomb.
“It’s nothing, you know?” said Outlaw. “You always have little bumps in the road.”
Traversing that rocky road is something Outlaw has been remarkably adept at throughout his pro career. When he played a total of 67 games through his first two seasons in Portland, he kept his head down and his mouth shut. When his name was mentioned in seemingly every trade rumor, he went about his business like a pro. When fans questioned his motives two summers ago after he joked about wanting more shots, he responded by taking fewer. And after the initial disappointment of knowing he would miss at least the next six weeks as the fracture in his foot heals, Outlaw has accepted the misfortune and moved on.
“Things happen for a reason, that’s my thing,” said Outlaw. “That’s how I’m looking at it. I feel like I got a lot of things to be thankful for, you know?”
Outlaw will have a pin inserted into his left foot on Wednesday to help the stress fracture heal. After that, he plans on picking up a hobby (“Maybe working on my car”), trying to keep his dog from doing any more damage to his foot (“He’s running over it all the time right now”) and rehabbing with the intention of getting back onto the court as soon as possible.
“We’ve got a lot of players stepping up. When I get back there’s not going to be some big rush to get mine. I’m just going to try to make sure I fit in. Do what is needed for the team to win.”