Al Jefferson elaborates on ankle problems, frustrations

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Jefferson is frustrated with his recurring ankle issues, which revolve around a bone bruise and arthritis he's had in his ankle since he was 6.

It appears that Al Jefferson's ankle sprain is not so much an ankle sprain anymore. Speaking with the Charlotte Observer, Jefferson said that it's a bone bruise that relates to arthritis he's had in that ankle since he was 6 years old.

Jefferson had made his second return from ankle problems last week against the Hawks and Celtics in consecutive games, but his pain relapsed, he said.

"It just came out of nowhere," Jefferson said. "Woke up in Boston and it felt good, did some extra conditioning and it felt good, practiced and it felt good. We took off, went to Cleveland and when I put my shoes on (pain was severe). It got worse and worse."

On Sunday he took an anti-inflammatory injection and was then held out of physical activity for the following two days.

The timetable for Jefferson's return is, at its most optimistic, preparing for a return on Friday against the Phoenix Suns. A hopeful Steve Clifford said that he could practice Thursday and play in that game, albeit with conditioning issues resulting from limited physical activity due to the injury and recovery.

As for Jefferson, he's clearly feeling pretty down in the dumps about how long it's taking him to get back on the court and the speed bumps he's been going through.

"It's very frustrating," Jefferson said. "I'm going to miss more games this season than the last three because of this injury. I take pride in not missing games. But this ankle injury - one minute I'm thinking everything is good and the next I'm feeling bad again.

"I feel like I'm letting my teammates down. It's not fair to them for me to be in and out of the lineup. They've got a good thing going. I'm really ready for it to be over with, but it's part of the game."

And the Bobcats could certainly use his help out there. Charlotte is ranked dead last in effective field goal percentage currently. Jefferson's return would undoubtedly help bring that stat up and probably help the rest of the roster's percentages with another focal point for the offense to work around.

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