With an outstanding college career at WVU, and making it to the 2010 NCAA Final Four, Da'Sean Butler suffered a crushing knee injury against Duke in the Final Four setting back his NBA career.
Though drafted by the Miami Heat, he was soon released and was signed by the San Antonio Spurs last season where he was assigned to the Spurs' D-League affiliate Austin Toros for continuous rehab.
Now, according to Butler, he is ready to get back on the court and is brimming with confidence:
"Anybody that has gone through an injury like this will tell you that confidence is the main thing," Butler said. "You can work out and get all the strength built back up, but if you don't have confidence, the rest of it really doesn't matter."
"Honestly, I'm fine now. I'm good to go," Butler added. "I'm working out every day and shooting. I'm just playing as much as I can to get back into shape. I'm lifting a lot to keep the strength up in my leg."
Indeed confidence and hard work is key for Butler's road back to getting on the court, and it's that hard work which is making forget about his injury and and becoming mentally focused on what he is doing on the court:
"I'm starting to catch myself beginning to do the things I used to do. Like, if we're playing five-on-five, I'm not even thinking about my knee anymore. I just go out and play. That's cool, because I was so worried about my knee for the longest time. Now I don't even worry about it that much."
"I'll know I'll be as nervous as hell before my first game back. That may be the most nervous I'll ever be before a basketball game."
Coming back from the terrible injury he suffered is not an easy road. It has been countless hours in the gym, undergoing surgery and having the mental and physical strength to see it through.
"I realize I'm a little more tougher than I thought I was," Butler said. "I've learned a lot about myself in general. I've also learned I have a great support staff around me. WVU and the fans have always supported me. I have my family and friends who have stuck with me through this. They kept me grounded and kept me relaxed, which helped a lot."
Here's hoping there is no NBA lockout next season and Butler will finally get a chance to see all his hard work pay off as he steps onto the court for the Spurs.