BC Wolves awaiting doctor’s green light for Artūrs Žagars’ return
BC Wolves awaiting doctor’s green light for Artūrs Žagars’ return

BC Wolves' Latvian import Artūrs Žagars is looking forward to joining the team's training as he continues his rehabilitation after a serious leg injury. At the beginning of March, the spitfire guard who recently returned to Lithuania after undergoing knee surgery in Turkey, was not inclined to share any promises about a possible quick return.

"For me personally, I want to come back as fast as possible obviously. So I am thankful to the people around me who stop me from myself. It is difficult to say an exact date. But if everything goes the way it has to go, I don't know, maybe mid or late April. It really depends on how my knee responds. We are working with high intensity now and so far the knee has been responding well. Hopefully, soon", said A. Žagars.

According to Wolves physiotherapist Gintarė Katkutė-Lackė, the guard's rehabilitation is nearing its end. Currently, she has already reached the final stage of doing various individual basketball drills on the court with the basketball.

"Rehabilitation itself starts with range — making sure that knee doesn't twist, that fluid gets out, that it regains full range of movement. The next stage is strength. The third stage - more sprints, running straight lines, then sideways (laterally). The later stages are when you add more change of direction and the last one is basketball drills on the court and individual training with coaches. We are already in the last stage. Coach Marius Leonavičius and I are taking care of Arturs and have been working with him for two weeks. We are giving him more drills on the court so that he can feel the ball and run with it," said the sports medicine specialist about what is currently being done during rehabilitation.

According to her, a doctor's visit is planned soon to determine the condition of A. Žagar's knee and the progress it has achieved during rehabilitation. The doctor’s diagnosis will determine whether the Latvian guard will finally be able to join the team's training sessions.

"We will go to the doctors this week and see if we can get permission. Let's hope that everything heals well, that everything is functionally fine, that full strength has been regained. Only after receiving permission, we will be able to incorporate Zagars into team training. When training with the team, everything will be progressive. How the knee will react will depend on the training rhythm. If everything goes well, we hope to return to competing in live games in 2-3 weeks", said G. Katkutė-Lackė.

A. Žagar, who performed well at the FIBA World Cup last year, do not hide the fact that he is thinking about the opportunity to wear the national team jersey this summer and play for the Latvian national team in the qualifying tournament for a ticket to the Paris Olympic Games.

"The national team, that's ahead in the summer. I'm taking that into consideration. But the main goal, for now, is to get back to join the (Wolves) team, hopefully, before the playoffs, to get some games in, to get the rhythm back and, obviously, just help this team first. And then summer will come", - one of the stars of the Latvian national team did not look too far ahead.

A.Žagars averaged 12 points, 5 assists and 3 rebounds in this season's Lithuanian basketball league (Betsafe-LKL), collecting 13 utility points in four games played.

(Photo: Saulius Čirba)