NBA

Edmond Sumner looks to bring courage to the Nets

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The day before Edmond Sumner’s wedding, he was at the gym, working out and rehabilitating his torn Achilles tendon.

The day before flying to Bora Bora for her honeymoon in the South Pacific? He was back, putting on his sweat in an Indiana gymnasium.

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The Nets ended their dismal 2021-22 season with a promise to reclaim their identity and work ethic, and one thing is clear: their new guard fits the bill.

“Ed’s just the most pro you’re ever going to meet, in the sense that he doesn’t miss days. This guy trains,” Sumner’s trainer Mike Robertson told The Post. “Literally, this guy trained on thursday before his wedding he got married on a friday, arrived on sunday before going on honeymoon.

“He just doesn’t miss days, he doesn’t skip training. It’s a testament to who he is and the kind of guy you get there. He’s just a great human being. He’s going to hit the clock, he’s going to continue to not only work hard for himself, but also uplift others around him. And he’s just a world-class human being. [Nets fans] will love it.

For Sumner, it’s just about making sure those Nets fans have a chance to love him. He was waived shortly after being acquired by the Nets in an October trade from the Pacers, and he hadn’t suited up for Brooklyn. He joined the team on a two-year, $4.2 million free agent deal in July. But of his $1.9 million salary this season, only $250,000 is guaranteed and only $500,000 on opening night. The second year is not guaranteed.

Edmond Sumner played for the Pacers last season.
New York Post: Charles Wenzelberg

On a roster plagued with injury issues, Sumner is one of them. Sumner, TJ Warren, Ben Simmons, Joe Harris and Seth Curry are all coming off of surgery, and the front three haven’t played a second in the 2021-22 season.

Sumner has spent the last year recovering from a torn left Achilles training – naturally – in September 2021, a week before camp. After seeing how Kevin Durant recovered from his own Achilles rupture, Sumner chose Dr. Martin O’Malley – also the Nets’ foot specialist – to do his surgery.

“I see how Kevin has come back from his injury and become one of the best players in the world,” Sumner said on the ‘Voice of the Nets’ podcast. “I was like, ‘Who did his surgery? I have to go see this person!’ I need it done right.

Even well done, the way back was arduous. His rehab went from being split between the Pacers and Robertson to almost entirely with IFast co-owner Robertson – who also trained Glenn Robinson III, Sean McDermott and Kelan Martin.

In February, Sumner was diving again. And in June, despite not being able to play 5-on-5 — his strength as an open-court player — he had enough of a blast to impress the Nets in practice. And this explosion did not come easily.

Summer not only underwent hyperbaric oxygen therapy (breathing pure oxygen in a chamber with double or even triple the air pressure), but also quadrupled the usual number of sessions.

“The standard protocol is five times a week for two weeks,” Robertson told the Post. “This guy, he did 40 sessions over the next eight weeks… to speed up the healing process and get Achilles to heal faster. … He knew exactly how to attack the process.

Unfortunately for Sumner, he’s an experienced rehabilitator. He had previously treated tendonitis, a torn ACL and shoulder surgeries, the main reason he recorded just 108 NBA games in five years.

Sumner’s best season turned out to be his last in good health, averaging a career-high 7.5 points in 53 games in 2020-21. He’s confident of returning to his best open ground, but the Nets choose to use him or any lineup.

“It doesn’t matter who will be around Ed. He’s going to find a way to fit in, produce and help the team be a little bit better,” Robertson said. “So I think [fans] will love it.

“He’s going to be where he needs to be. … He’s back in the 5v5 now, moving around the pitch. The last step now is to get used to playing regularly, putting your legs under him. … I’m sure he’ll be back and looking great at the start of the year.

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