Martin wants to test injured left knee

DENVER -- Denver Nuggets forward Kenyon Martin said Thursday he wants to test his injured left knee before the end of the regular season to shake off the rust before the playoffs begin.

Martin has missed 14 straight games with patellar tendinitis. He underwent platelet-rich plasma therapy on the knee in Vail, Colo., on March 8.

In the procedure, a tube of a patient's blood is taken and put in a centrifuge and spun, producing concentrated platelets. Those contain growth factors that accelerate tissue repair and regeneration. The platelets are then injected into the injury site.

Martin opted for the therapy instead of surgery to try to come back for the playoffs.

"That's what I'm shooting for. Actually, I'm shooting to see if I can get back before then because I don't think it's going to be good for me to come out with a playoff game as my first game in a month and a half," he said. "We all know playoff basketball is different so I'll probably need a game or two under my belt if that's possible. If not, I'll deal with it and do what I've got to do."

Martin said he has increased his rehab and hasn't had any setbacks. He said he did light running on the court Thursday and everything went well.

"Today was a good day. It's looking positive but I still haven't played any basketball yet. I don't know how it's going to react during the game," he said.

Denver has missed Martin's defense and team-leading 9.6 rebounds a game. He hasn't played since the Nuggets' 119-90 win over Oklahoma City on March 3. The team won seven of eight after that.

More recently, however, they've struggled and dropped from the No. 2 spot in the Western Conference to No. 5.

"It's almost unbearable for me to sit over there to see the guys struggling," Martin said. "It's tough, but we can't feel sorry for ourselves. We need these games."

Martin said he doesn't have a set day to return to the Vail clinic but the Nuggets' struggles are contributing to his healing process.

"For the team it's kind of speeding my recovery up a little bit," he said. "I've got to look at the situation as it is and not rush or risk anything."

The Nuggets wrap up the regular season April 13 against the Trail Blazers.