Carter-Williams all the way back from injury

76ers coach Brett Brown concedes that he was cautious in dealing with Michael Carter-Williams' injury. At some point, Carter-Williams will need to play through pain. "There are no healthy NBA players," Brown says.
76ers coach Brett Brown concedes that he was cautious in dealing with Michael Carter-Williams' injury. At some point, Carter-Williams will need to play through pain. "There are no healthy NBA players," Brown says. (YONG KIM / Staff Photographer)
Posted: November 28, 2013

Everything is new to rookie point guard Michael Carter-Williams, and this will be a season of many firsts.

He got a dubious first out of the way recently, recovering from his initial NBA injury.

Carter-Williams missed four games with a bruised left foot and has played three games since returning. He was outstanding in the 76ers' 106-98 loss to the Pacers on Saturday in Indiana. Carter-Williams had 29 points, six rebounds, three assists and seven steals against a Pacers team that is now 13-1.

The injury is clearly behind him.

"I am fine now," Carter-Williams said after Tuesday's practice as the Sixers prepared for Wednesday's game in Orlando against the Magic. "It is all gone."

Carter-Williams admitted that he needed "one to two days to get back in the flow."

His first game back last Wednesday, Carter-Williams shot just 2 for 10 and had six assists but six turnovers in a 108-98 loss to visiting Toronto.

Sixers coach Brett Brown said that being out four games was an eye-opening experience for Carter-Williams.

"He will learn that even when you take a little time off, your fitness takes a hit, your rhythm takes a hit," Brown said. "You are a little bit rusty and I think for him to learn to manage that is important."

The Sixers were cautious in how they dealt with the injury. "It would not be smart pushing him forward," Brown said.

Of course, in the future that could change.

"Maybe down the road as we move forward, he will have to learn to play through things," Brown said. "Given the situation, if at some stage we hope not too far away where he will experience a playoff series, sometimes you have to grit your teeth and get through it."

Brown said this was another part of the maturation process of Carter-Williams, who is averaging 17.3 points and 7.4 assists and has jumped out in the early going as the top rookie in his class.

"I think all those things are important for him to either learn now or ultimately learn how to deal with it - this is part of the NBA," Brown said. "There are no healthy NBA players."

Injury update

Brown said that Tony Wroten would play against Orlando and was hopeful that Spencer Hawes would be in the lineup as well. Both missed their first game of the season Saturday at Indiana.

Hawes has a sore left knee, which he hurt in Friday's 115-107 overtime win over the Milwaukee Bucks. Wroten injured his back last week and then left the Bucks game in the third quarter with a lower back strain.

"Tony is good to go," Brown said.

According to Brown, Hawes is likely a game-time decision, but he was optimistic. Hawes did not face contact in practice.

"We believe he is going to play and will deal with it more as it gets closer," Brown said.

Thaddeus Young, who has missed the last three games while dealing with a personal issue, was not with the team on Tuesday.


mnarducci@phillynews.com

@sjnard

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