Sports Out West

David Lee injury: Warriors F hid back ailment before suffering season-ender

Photo by Keith Allison / Wikimedia Commons

Golden State Warriors power forward David Lee is a Warrior in every sense of the word, and his attempt to hide a nagging injury that could have caused him to miss time during the NBA Playoffs is a testament to that fact. 

After suffering a season-ending hip flexor tear in Game 1 of the opening round series against the Denver Nuggets on Saturday, the double-double machine revealed that he was also dealing with back pain that more than likely would have caused him to sit out games down the stretch. 

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Lee’s back has been “killing him” over the past two weeks. The report states that he even went as far as trying to hide a large ice pack within his shooting shirt during stoppages of play in order to get through it. The player himself recounted it as his only real course of action.

“The only other option was to not play, and you guys who know me know that was not something I was even considering,” Lee told the paper. “It’s very disappointing, but I know I left everything on the floor.”

He’s done that all season after recording a league-high 56 double-doubles and becoming the Warriors’ first All-Star since 1997. His loss is devastating for the Dubs and their playoff chances against the athletic and deep Denver Nuggets. As much as they’ll miss Lee’s production, they’ll miss his workman-like approach to the game and quiet leadership. His willingness to play injured demonstrates that. 

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Michael C. Jones is the managing editor and founder of Sports Out West and a Southern California-based sports journalist. His work is also regularly featured on Yahoo! Sports and SB Nation. You can catch up with him on Twitter: @MikeJonesTweets.