UK Men's Basketball

Pistons' Prince keeps playing despite knee injury

Detroit's Tayshaun Prince said his left knee gives him problems when he changes directions or drives to the basket.
Detroit's Tayshaun Prince said his left knee gives him problems when he changes directions or drives to the basket. ASSOCIATED PRESS

Tayshaun Prince continues to labor on his sore left knee.

Through the first three games — all Pistons losses — the former Kentucky standout has been walking with a slight limp.

After Friday's loss at Boston, Prince said he planned to soldier on as long as he felt he wasn't causing more harm than good.

"The most important thing is to not have a setback where I try to overdo it and you're back at square one and you're starting all over again," Prince said. "There's some things I can do, things I can't do, but hopefully, game-by-game, it gets better.

"As long as I feel like I'm not hurting the team, I'll be all right."

It's not as if the Pistons have another option. The only other pure small forward, Austin Daye, has struggled so far this young season.

Through Friday, Prince was averaging 30.3 minutes, 8.7 points, 2.7 rebounds and 40.7 percent shooting.

Though Prince, 31, is able to run and shoot with no problems, he admitted that he had trouble changing directions, exploding in traffic and playing in the post.

And with the hectic pace this season, Prince isn't sure when his knee will get better.

"It's part of the game," he said. "The toughest thing for anybody that's banged up coming into this season being so quick, it's kind of hard to really recover right away — especially with so many games. There's only so much time to have a day off and things like that. So I got to play it game-by-game and see how it feels."

Coach Lawrence Frank appreciates the effort and noted that Prince had missed significant time only once in his career, during the 2009-10 season because of a bad back.

"Tay is an ironman," Frank said Saturday. "Outside of the one blip he had with his back, the guy plays every game."

Prince played all 82 games for six seasons, from 2003-04 (his second in the NBA) through 2008-09. Last year, he played in 78 games.

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