DALLAS -- It’s hard not to have a here-we-go-again kind of feeling about Chris Kaman’s health.
After all, he’s missed an average of 30 games per season over the last five years due to a variety of ailments and was injured in his first official practice with the Mavericks. Durability is the biggest concern with the big man who signed a one-year, $8 million deal with the Mavs, which is why he trained in Dallas for a month and a half before training camp started.
“That’s what’s frustrating the most,” said Kaman, who watched practice and did some light shooting drills afterward for the second consecutive day after spraining his lower back Saturday. “I’ve been here since August 15th, 16th, just trying to get myself in the position to be ready with the team and build chemistry and all that. I’m in pretty good shape [compared to] seasons before and the past. I feel really comfortable and I feel like I’m ready to go, then you get hurt the first day of camp.
“It happens. It’s something I can’t control. It wasn’t anything that I didn’t do or did do. It just happened.”
Kaman, who realized he had German roots just in time to help Dirk Nowitzki lead the national team to the 2008 Olympics, hopes he’ll be able to play when the Mavs begin their preseason with a two-game European trip. It’s premature, however, to predict that he will play against Alba Berlin or FC Barcelona Regal.
Kaman says his progression has been faster than he anticipated, but he realizes he needs to remain patient. He added that he needs to make improving his core strength a priority while continuing the preventative maintenance on the long list of body parts that have caused him problems over the years.
“I’m just going to have to stay on top of my rehab,” said Kaman, who was headed to the massage table after finishing his shooting drills. “I’m going to have to do this throughout the year to keep myself healthy. The good thing is we’ve got some of the best trainers in the league, so I’m happy about that.”