BOSTON (CBS) — Reports of a foot injury have Julius Randle playing NBA-like defense before the forward is even officially in the league.
Randle, the 6-9 Kentucky product who is expected to be a lottery pick on June 26, downplayed a report that he may require surgery following the draft after his individual workout with the Celtics on Friday.
“My foot is fine,” Randle said confidently after his workout in Waltham. “Everybody has their opinion on what they should do, but I’m pain free. I had no pain before, during or after. I’m fine.”
The reported injury, first brought to light by Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski, comes from a broken foot Randle suffered in high school. He says he still has a pin in the foot, but none of his doctors have said he would require any additional surgery.
“I probably wouldn’t be working out if I needed surgery,” he said confidently. “I’ve met with my own doctor and specialists, and they’ve said they wouldn’t do anything with it. It’s fine.”
Randle took to Twitter following the report to set the record straight:
He said Friday he usually wouldn’t hit social media for stuff like that, but that he needed to clear things up.
“I felt the need to defend myself. I don’t usually have to do stuff like that, but when people are saying stuff and I know it’s not true, or I know the story is kind of mixed up a little bit… I’m not calling him a liar or anything like that – he’s great at what he does – but I felt like there was a little unnecessary confusion, so there was a need for me to speak on my behalf,” he said., “No disrespect to him, I just wanted to have my say in it.”
Randle’s mom also had a few things to say about the report, calling it “a lie” and saying those behind the report “don’t have a clue.”
“My mom is my biggest supporter,” Randle said with a smile. “She’s been there since day one and has always had my back. I’m sure you guys have kids, and if someone says something about your kid you’re going to want to kill the person. That’s how my mom is; she takes it to the extreme for sure, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love her to death.”
Randle said there won’t be an issue if the team who drafts him wants him to undergo surgery on the foot, and the recovery would only keep him out of the NBA Summer League. He should be ready in time for training camp if that is the course of action.
As for his actual workout Randle said his solo session with the Celtics went well, and he hopes he painted the picture of a fierce competitor on the floor.
“(I wanted to show) that if I come here I’m going to give it my all and compete, do the best I can. These guys know what you can do and the top player you can be. I just try to be myself,” said Randle, who averaged 15 points and 10.4 rebounds per game as a freshman. “I think off the court, them seeing what kind of person you are and what kind of character you have is the most important thing.”
“He looked good,” said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens, who had a front row seat for Randle’s workout. “Obviously he’s a big, strong guy who is very quick and light on his feet. By the time it’s all said and done he’s going to have NBA 3-point range. I think he’s going to be a really good player, but I’m not telling anyone anything they don’t know.”
In addition to the recent injury report, Randle detractors will point to him as an undersized big-man as one of the main deterrents for drafting him with a high pick. He won’t say anything to those people though, letting the 40 box scores he filled up in his one season at Kentucky do the talking.
“I have nothing to say. I go out there and let my game do the talking,” said Randle. “There is no point of saying anything. At the end of the day you have to put your shoes, jersey and shorts on the same way and go out there and produce. Projections, potential and all that stuff, all I know is I can go out there and work hard and produce.”
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