OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Golden State Warriors forward David Lee was released from a hospital Thursday after undergoing a second procedure on his left elbow to treat an infection.
He was released from Stanford Hospital and returned to his San Francisco home, where he will receive IVs and antibiotics and be monitored by Dr. Frank Chen. The Warriors said the redness around Lee’s elbow was gone and swelling had nearly subsided. Lee’s arm is in a splint for now to restrict movement as he heals.
“That’s great just for the psyche of our team,” first-year coach Keith Smart said after Thursday’s practice. “When one of your better players, and a good guy all around, is not here … before he gets on the floor the life that he brings to the team is pretty impressive. The players love him. They all miss him. We’re glad he’s going to finally get a chance to start coming back around the team.”
Lee initially had surgery last Friday after he cut the inside of his elbow in a nasty collision with the mouth of New York’s Wilson Chandler, who left a fragment of a tooth in Lee’s arm.
After Lee’s elbow swelled and bled overnight, he went to an emergency room for antibiotics.
Smart isn’t sure when Lee will play again, but he will be sidelined at least until early next week. Lee is scheduled to be re-evaluated Tuesday, a day before the Warriors play at Houston to start a three-game road trip. Smart didn’t expect Lee to attend Friday night’s home game with the New York Knicks, Lee’s former team.
“We all just want to see him,” Smart said. “Once we see him and now we can love on him we can start getting him back into the package.”
Lee is averaging 14.3 points, 11.3 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 34.6 minutes in eight games for Golden State so far. The Warriors acquired him in a July trade with the Knicks to give them an improved presence on offense and rebounding.
Smart has been mixing and matching to fill in during Lee’s absence because Golden State doesn’t have a true backup power forward. Vladimir Radmanovic — who is 6-foot-10 with long arms and helps create spacing on the court — could earn the start against the Knicks, though Smart wasn’t prepared to name his starter until Friday night.
“We’re going to look at the guy who is playing well in that position,” Smart said. “Everyone who’s playing that position, they know what’s expected and what we want from them and so we’ll keep going that direction until we’ve locked into someone who can provide us some of the things that David can bring. They can’t bring everything he does but they can still concentrate on the rebounding aspect and being heady with the basketball.”
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.