Former Toronto Raptors centre Aron Baynes opened up about the frightening injury he suffered at the Tokyo Olympics in candid detail during a new interview with.
Baynes suffered the injury off the court as he fell in the Australian locker room . After being taken to the hospital, an MRI revealed that he suffered internal bleeding, which was putting pressure on his spinal cord, completely limiting his movement.
“The loneliest time in my life was laying in that hospital, going in and out of consciousness, going over my life plan and my goals and just crying," Baynes told Windhorst.
"My uncle Don had an accident 10 years ago. He's a quadriplegic. My family's had first-hand experience with this going down. I was so scared."
Baynes had previously suffered a horrific-looking fall three days before collapsing during the game against Italy. Prior to the second half of a matchup against Nigeria, Baynes fell off the rim while attempting a dunk and was ruled out of the remainder of the contest. He’s still unsure whether the aftereffects from his first fall led to his collapse days later.
The long road back. Grateful for it all 🥉💪🏻 pic.twitter.com/ZbNquULKT3
— Aron Baynes (@aronbaynes) January 21, 2022
Despite the series of scary incidents, Baynes attempted to return to the tournament. The doctors in Tokyo had other ideas, however.
"I couldn't cope. I was like a combination of burning, fire, knives," Baynes said. "I needed the pain meds, but they knocked me out immediately, so I had to time it around the games. The nurses showed me so much compassion."
Returning home wasn’t easy, as Baynes was taken to a Brisbane hospital and had to quarantine away from his family for two weeks. After nearly a month in hospital, Baynes was released, and at 35, he’s still aiming to return to the NBA. Baynes wasn’t signed after being waived by the Raptors in August.
Here’s hoping for a speedy recovery for Baynes and a return to the NBA. Short of that, let’s hope he can live his life without permanent pain after a jarring experience at the Olympics.
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