Carlos Delfino eyeing return: 'I still feel like an NBA player'

Thomas Campbell / US PRESSWIRE

Carlos Delfino hasn't played basketball since injuring his foot in the 2013 NBA playoffs. He'd had six surgeries - all to no avail - and thought about retiring because he couldn't play through the pain.

However, the seventh time could be the charm.

Following his latest procedure, Delfino's pain-free and now gearing up for the Summer Olympics with the Argentinian national team. He's hoping his performance will lead to another opportunity in the NBA.

"I still feel like an NBA player," the swingman told Basquet Plus, as translated by Reddit user sebs24. "I want to come back to do interesting stuff. That's my objective."

Delfino, who'll turn 34 next month, has been open-minded in trying to reach that objective.

"I did everything I could: I saw witches, doctors, I practiced Reiki, I tried every machine that exists … I even have a small picture of Saint Expedite in my phone, which is always here with me," he explained.

The 6-foot-6 wing player easily could've given up after the first couple of surgeries, but a tragedy in his family propelled him to keep going.

"During January of last year I lost my grandma. Her last day, she wanted to go for a walk with me. She passed away and that stood as motivation for me," he said.

"Now I have to come back."

He feels like he can after undergoing his seventh foot surgery in Bologna, Italy in November 2015.

Despite his absence from the game and never actually playing for the Los Angeles Clippers, they've been paying Delfino since 2014-15 and are on the hook until the end of the 2018-19 campaign.

"I would give back the money for the years I lost if I could," the former 25th overall pick said. "But what I can do is to look forward."

Delfino's rusty after being inactive for the past three years, but he's working hard so he can make a good impression in Rio.

"If I play the Olympic Games, everyone is going to watch me," he said.

He has career averages of 8.1 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 1.7 assists while shooting 40.1 percent from the field and 36.5 from deep.

Carlos Delfino eyeing return: 'I still feel like an NBA player'
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