BROOKLYN forward Caris LeVert felt the pain in his right foot, and thought it was just a sprain.
That is, until he looked down.
A week removed from dislocating his right foot — a grotesque injury that looked so much worse than what it actually was — LeVert spoke out Monday (Tuesday, Manila time) about what happened and his plans for the future.
"The pain level felt like a regular sprain and I knew I kind of fell on the side of my ankle," LeVert said, talking to reporters at the Nets' facility in Brooklyn, New York. "And obviously when I looked at it, I was like, 'Wow, that's messed up.'"
Somehow, the worst was over within a few minutes of him getting hurt on Nov. 12 at Minnesota. After he was wheeled off the court and taken to the back of the arena, medical staff popped his foot back into place — the most painful part of the whole experience, LeVert said. He was taken to a hospital for further tests that night, learned there was no other major damage, and he wound up flying home with the Nets that night.
"Obviously, I'm very blessed, because it could have been a lot worse," LeVert said.
LeVert was having a breakout season for Brooklyn, with seven 20-point games already — matching the total from his first two full seasons in the NBA. He was averaging 18.4 points per game, which leads the Nets, and was posting career-best averages in scoring, rebounds and assists, along with a career-high shooting percentage from the floor.
There's no timetable for LeVert's return, but the Nets say his coming back at some point this season is the expectation.
"Initially, I was frustrated, felt kind of defeated," LeVert said. "I felt like it wasn't fair. But everything happens for a reason. It's not a very, very, very serious injury to the point where the way I play basketball will be different. I feel like I'll still be the same player. I'll be a better player when I come back. I feel like maybe the time off is the best thing for me, maybe best for the team."
LeVert said his spirits were boosted by so many fans and players reaching out to him on social media. He said some players also got his phone number and sent texts, though he isn't sure how some of them got the number.
"It's been great," LeVert said. "It's been overwhelming, for sure."
Brooklyn visits Miami on Tuesday.