Houston Rockets forward PJ Tucker hasn't been shooting a ton as of late. As he made public Tuesday, it appears there's a reason for that, noting he has been dealing with “nerve damage” in his right shoulder after initially suffering an injury on Jan. 11.
However, the Rockets veteran is going to soldier on despite the injury:
PJ Tucker says he has “nerve damage” in his right shoulder after suffering a stinger against Minnesota on Jan 11: “It’s tough-When u got nerve damage it’s really hard. It’s something I don’t complain about.” Says the only thing that will fix it is rest & there’s no time for that pic.twitter.com/JKFK0xFFrB
— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) January 21, 2020
The game in question saw Tucker log just two minutes against the Minnesota Timberwolves before he departed for the remainder of the contest. He hasn't missed any time since — logging an average of 36.1 minutes per game — but he has also taken just 16 combined shots in those outings. Traditionally a vital 3-point marksman for the Rockets, Tucker has been deferential as of late and has scored in single digits in each of his last 14 contests.
The Rockets find themselves in the midst of a four-game losing skid that has shuffled them down the Western Conference standings to the No. 6 spot. They retain a seven-game cushion on a playoff spot in general, but for a team that won 53 games last season and then added former MVP Russell Westbrook to the mix, merely making the playoffs as a lower seed was far from the expectation.
Tucker has been an iron man for Houston this year, averaging a career-best 35.1 minutes per game, as he and Ben McLemore are the only players to have suited up for all 42 contests. As Tucker alluded to, there is no time to rest, as the Rockets will play four games in the next six days, all of which will come against Western Conference opponents.
The All-Star break looms in mid-February, but for PJ Tucker, the time off can't come soon enough to begin rehabbing his shoulder.