Thursday, March 23, 2023

Luke Maye: “I can’t wait to play again”

In exactly one week it will be two months since Coviran Granada lost the star of his team. On December 4, luke may Was injured in a duel against Real Betis played at the Palacio de Deportes. His image in the wooden ceiling of Zaidin Mandap, in pain, with your hands on your knees and later going back to the bench With the help of his companions, he predicted the worst. Minutes later, the power forward returned to the game. His mind and his desire to help the team get another win could put up with any pain. They lost to the Betik team, but the most damaging blow to the team was not the defeat, but the absence that would later come from a true reference on the track like Luke Maye.

Nearly two months later, American’s return is closer than ever. There was talk that he might come for the match against Girona, maybe for Fuenlabrada, but the truth is that his return to the slopes is still questionable. This was confirmed by Pablo Pin in a press conference last Thursday. “We must wait, he will come back when he is well.” These words from the coach in red and black put a little more dent in a wound that only the player can cover. His absence is noticeable, the team needs him and He wants to wear short clothes as soon as possible.

With an ear-to-ear smile, the one that makes her so characterful, and her characteristic twinkling eye, Mei struck out a sour, but forceful expression as the interview began. “It’s been tough” in reference to his injury. As the player himself admits, this is the longest period in which he has been out since starting his professional career, even during his time at the University of North Carolina. Almost two months away from basketball is too much for a Luke Mays who only wants to play.

“I came here to help the team. I’m from another country and I can’t just do what I came here for, it’s very difficult to move on mentally.” I try to focus day by day, give the best version of me And focus on what I can improve on the small details”.

His knee is doing well, but it’s not quite ready yet. The doctors and coaching staff tell him to be careful, although, if it were up to him, his return to the team would have been long ago. “When I got injured I went back to playing. Obviously I felt something wasn’t right, that I wasn’t being myself, but I wanted to help the team. I feel like I can be there even though it hurts. A month after the injury I already felt well, I thought I can play now, but I need to take it easy, see he is recovering well”, explains the player.

Maye traveled to the United States a few days ago to check on the condition of his knee and confirm that his recovery is on track. The American himself admits that he “Gaining confidence and strength, but it is a process that takes time. The peculiarity of a power forward injury is that the player can lead a completely normal life, but “I can’t run or jump, those things are very important for basketball.”explains the power forward with a certain tone of irony and resignation.

The American is eager to return to the dynamic with his teammates, but until that moment comes, he analyzes from the outside how he sees the team going through this bad period. ,It’s difficult when you bring in new players, especially with more than one player., This is my third year in Europe and it is the first time that I am in a team that has brought in so many new players and they are going to have an important role. It’s hard to find a rhythm everyone feels comfortable with and return to established roles. Against Girona, we played very well except for the last quarter. The games against Madrid and Baskonia we were better, we were improving. We have to look at these matches before the windows to put the pieces together.”

His optimism is evident not only on an individual level but also for the team. “ACB is a very complicated league, we want to play well and stay up, but only looking at the next game. Focus on the things Pablo tells us. Each game is going to be a battle, but I think we’ll be able to stay. I have a lot of faith in the team and the coach.”

His return to the slopes would be almost like another signing for this second round of the competition. The illusion of smiling again on the basis of victory is largely stored in him, yet Luke Mayes feels no pressure, he only dreams of enjoying again with his teammates what he loves most, playing . “I love being with my teammates, feeling like I can help the team. My energy, my communication… I love being on track, you talk to them, motivate them.” It’s more difficult off the bench, you don’t have the bonding to compete together. I can’t wait to play again.”

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