There was a strange turn of events that happened when Gary Payton II was shipped back to Golden State at the trade deadline.
The problem was that Portland didn’t disclose Payton’s lingering abdominal injury to Golden State, which led him to fail his physical.
Payton spoke to the media for the first time about it on Wednesday.
“Not really,” Payton said when asked if he was surprised he failed his physical. “I kind of knew where my body was, how it was and everything. It was out of my hands. I just had to tell them what it was and go from there.”
“Me just being a competitor, I wanted to get out there. No shots, though,” Payton confirmed. “I just had to get through it and get it done. The medical stuff wasn’t that big of a deal. I wanted to play and go out there and help my teammates and coaches.”
He underwent core muscle surgery in the offseason and was taking Toradol to manage the pain, ESPN reports.
Right before he was traded, he played through four consecutive games and played in 14 of Portland’s 17 games before that.
Despite all this, the Warriors still went ahead with the trade.
Payton won’t be re-evaluated until mid-March and isn’t doing any basketball related activities yet.
The goal is for the guard to be back on the court in time for the playoffs as the Warriors look to improve their 29-29 record.
“It was just longer than expected coming out of surgery,” he said. “I just experienced pain just longer than normal, than usual. It kinda pushed my dates back and back, but I’m getting better day by day. I’m just going to take it day by day. The pain’s going away less and less.”