Mike BatisteMichael Batiste has been busy lately. He was in the US because his wife had their first child and he also worked on his injury recovery and is now 100% fit. Greek sports website www.sport24.gr interviewed him and Batiste had some interesting things to say.

Sport24: It's been a month since you were injured. How did you feel without basketball?
Batiste: It was outrageously tough, but I have been through it many times, so I knew I just had to be patient. The irony is that both me and Kostas (Tsartsaris, who was also injured) went through the preparation stages in Zlatobar and I got injured on the last day and Kostas some days later. I recovered from that injury but was too eager to return and got injured again.

Sport24: What do the doctors say now?
Batiste: They told me that I'm ready to play now, but they also warned me to be careful. But when the time comes for the game vs Panellinios (tonight) I will just go crazy. It's just my style, I always play passionately, I can not play carefully.

Sport24: Did you and Blakney (Panellinios player, long time friend of Batiste) make any new bets for tonight's game? 
Batiste: Not yet, but the loser will probably pay the bill for the next dinner. I beat him even in NBA 2K10. I choose LA Lakers and he chooses Nuggets because he likes Carmelo Anthony. Most of the times Drew (Nicholas) joins us too, he chooses Boston Celtics. I had to do something during my injury to blow off some steam.

Sport24: Yes, but lately you have a new "occupation".
Batiste: That's very true. When you have a child, your whole life changes. I will go online soon to see my son who will wake up any moment now. I do it every night and it gives me great joy. He is good-looking, exactly like his father. (laughs)

Sport24: Let's get back to Panathinaikos. Since Jasikevicius, Tsartsaris and yourself were all in the injured list for so long, how close did this bring you?
Batiste: It brought us very close. Kostas had a broken bone and couldn't do much with a cast on his hand. But I got more close to Saras because I had a surgery too, three times in my career. So I advised him to be patient and not to get upset. It is a weird injury, it makes you spend a lot of hours just in the gym.

Sport24: As that wasn't enough, Nikola Pekovic got the swine flu. Are you worried about this new virus?
Batiste: It worries me as much as it should. The most important thing for me is to recognise the symptoms fast and let your doctor know. "Peko" did just that and the doctor advised him to sit out for some days until the flu completes its circle. Josh (Childress) and some other guys of Olympiacos went through it recently, so it is something temporary. Atheletes who are strong recover quickly. But given the fact that the flu has been deadly sometimes one can not but worry and wish all the best to everyone who get infected.

Sport24: In the meantime the game against Olympiacos is coming up (29/11). Do you think this is a good timing?
Batiste: For best and worst we need to be ready because a game between these two teams is always special. If the schedule says we play, both teams need to be ready. It seems that both teams will miss some players, but that changes nothing.

Sport24: What do you think of Olympiacos this season?
Batiste: I think they were better last season. They had Lyn Greer who was a constant threat against the opposition's defense, I don't need to remind you what he did in that (2008) Greek Cup Final (28 points). Of course they have acquired new players who can score such as Kleiza. Josh (Childress) is excellent this season. They've got the very experienced duo of Papaloukas-Vujcic. They are a very good team but I only care about my team.

Source: Sport 24