MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - Of all the possible ailments and extremities, it is a bruised heel that keeps Kevin Jones out of the Las Vegas summer league and three time zones away from convincing the Cleveland Cavaliers they need him.
For a 22 year old who stands 6 feet, 6 inches tall and carries around 250 pounds around with him, it makes no sense. Not when you consider his frame features about 40 pounds of cut and chiseled Kevlar that he didn't have when he arrived four summers ago.
Jones never missed a game in his career, which really is something when you consider the position he played in the conference he played in and add on top of that the minutes he was asked to endure. Only Da'Sean Butler played more minutes in a career at WVU than Jones, who sat for just 102 seconds per game as a senior.
Jones was hurt throughout his career, though. It's impossible to do all of the above and not wince, limp and generally labor from time to time, or even for long times. As a junior, Jones was silently slowed by gluteal tendonitis.
It was as a pain in the posterior.
"I missed a practice," Jones said.
Jones was that guy at WVU, one measured not by the games or minutes he missed, but the practices or segments within them.
Yet now, on the cusp of a NBA audition and maybe even a career, he's been benched by a right heel that went wrong. Not a knee or an ankle or a hamstring. Not his ribs, hands or shoulders. His heel.
Jones was working out with other players for the Sacramento Kings last month when he was fouled while shooting a jumper. Jones fell and banged his heel hard on the floor and then the defender fell on top of it.
Jones finished the day, but had to miss three workouts after that. When he signed his three-year deal with the Cavaliers that features some guaranteed money July 11, he was assigned rest and rehab and told he would not be heading to the summer league.
And that was the best news Jones has had in a long, long time.
"The first thing I thought when I got examined and they told me I had to sit out was, 'Wow, that was going to me by chance to make an impact and now they're telling me I have to sit out?'" Jones said.
The athletic training staff smacked Jones' hand as he reached for the panic button.
"We don't need you for the summer league," he was told. "We need you after the summer league. We want you healthy for training camp so you can make the roster."