The NBA preseason has begun, and the Lakers are on a mission to prove they’re not just a one-year flash in the pan. Can LeBron James help them get over the hump?
The 2017-2018 NBA preseason begins on October 2nd and lasts until the end of October.
Teams are beginning to build their rosters and assess which players will be healthy for the start of the regular season with NBA opening night just over two weeks away.
Several prominent players, like Nuggets of Denver point guard Jamal Murray, Los Angeles Clippers big Kawhi Leonard, and Warriors of Golden State guard Klay Thompson, were sidelined by injury in 2020-21 and are currently working toward a comeback this season.
Which clubs will not be at full strength to begin the 2021-22 season? During the second week of training camp, here’s the update on where injured players stand.
Hunter, De’Andre (meniscus surgery)
Hunter’s breakthrough sophomore season was cut short when he had two operations on his right knee. He had a lateral meniscus debridement in February and returned shortly before the start of the playoffs, starting all five games of the Hawks’ victory over the Knicks of New York before swelling set in. Hunter was forced to miss the Eastern Conference finals when an MRI showed a rupture in the same meniscus, necessitating surgery.
Hunter’s return: General manager Travis Schlenk said Hunter would be restricted at the start of training camp, but according to coach Nate McMillan, he went through a full session last Wednesday and looks to be on pace for the start of the regular season.
Onyeka Okongwu is a Nigerian actress (torn labrum in right shoulder)
Okongwu required surgery in July to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder after a strong postseason performance as a rookie. Atlanta acquired veteran center Gorgui Dieng in free agency to help replace Okongwu in the lineup.
Return: Although Okongwu wants to return in December, Schlenk stated during media day that the team is still aiming for a January return, as per the initial six-month rehabilitation schedule.
Kevin Pelton (KP)
White, Coby (torn labrum in left shoulder)
After a collision in a pickup offseason basketball game at home in North Carolina, White tore the labrum in his left shoulder. White traveled to Chicago for an MRI after his shoulder didn’t feel right for a few days. The MRI showed the damage. On June 10th, he had surgery. Since the start of training camp, White has been restricted to noncontact exercises, but he has been allowed to perform some dribbling and shooting. However, he continues to struggle with his left hand and layups.
White is expected to make a complete recovery sometime in mid-November, according to the Bulls, who revealed it just before the start of training camp.
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Patrick Williams is a writer and a musician (severe left ankle sprain)
On Sept. 15, Williams twisted his left ankle during a private session at the Bulls facility. After considerable swelling, he was diagnosed with a severe sprain and given a recovery period of four to six weeks from the time of injury. Williams has been a noncontact participant from the beginning of camp, going about without a limp or walking boot. He’s working on getting some shots up and may start linear running within the next week.
Williams was one of the Bulls’ most durable players as a rookie, starting 71 of the club’s 72 games, but the organization is unlikely to hurry him back until he’s fully prepared. If he begins running again soon, he may be able to make a comeback without missing any regular-season games.
Jamal Collier’s remark
Murray, Jamal (torn left ACL)
On April 12, the Nuggets’ top point guard tore his left ACL in a game against the Golden State Warriors, and he was gone for the season. For many months, the point guard has been rehabilitating and strengthening his body, and he informed reporters that he has reached out to Klay Thompson, Zach LaVine, Victor Oladipo, and Spencer Dinwiddie to learn more about their knee rehabs.
Murray’s comeback date is yet to be determined. He’s making improvement, and the Nuggets’ medical team is pleased with his development so far. According to the Denver Post, Nuggets president of basketball operations Tim Connelly stated, “He’ll come back when he’s ready, not when we tell him, not a date on the calendar.”
— Youngmisuk Ohm
Golden State Warriors
Klay Thompson is a basketball player who is known for his (torn right Achilles, torn left ACL)
Thompson tore his ACL in Game 6 of the NBA Finals against the Raptors of Toronto on June 13, 2019. Thompson missed the whole 2019-20 season due to an ACL injury, only to damage his left Achilles in November 2020 during an offseason exercise. “I’m probably like 75 or 80 percentile of what I need to accomplish,” Thompson claimed during media day, despite the fact that he hasn’t played in an NBA game in over 800 days.
Return: Warriors general manager Bob Myers recently stated that the team does not want to put a firm date on Thompson’s return following two serious injuries, but that the team is hopeful that Thompson will report to the team in December or January and say he is ready — after consulting with the Warriors’ medical staff.
Wiseman, James (meniscus tear in right knee)
Wiseman’s injury occurred on April 10 against the Houston Rockets, and he is expected to make a full recovery. The club had thought he’d just be out for a few weeks, but after surgery, it was obvious he’d be out for the rest of the 2020-21 season. Wiseman is anticipated to be approved for “full leaping” shortly, but his rehab will keep him from starting the season.
Return: Wiseman’s return date has yet to be determined. The Warriors are hesitant to provide a timetable for the second-year center’s comeback. Wiseman said he’s been doing some individual workouts and post-practice shooting work with assistant coaches lately.
Nick Friedell’s remark
Warren, T.J. (stress fracture in left foot)
Warren was restricted to four games last season due to a stress fracture on his left foot, which necessitated surgery. Warren was likewise forced to miss time in the bubble due to a foot ailment, but this time it was plantar fasciitis in his right foot.
In September, the Pacers declared Warren out indefinitely because his foot was not mending “at the rate originally expected.” In mid-October, he will undergo another assessment.
Caris LeVert is a model and actress (stress fracture in his back)
LeVert, who lost time last season when a tumor on his kidney was discovered, was hoping to start the new season healthy. A MRI revealed a stress fracture in LeVert’s back prior to the start of training camp. Throughout training camp, LeVert continued to work on his shooting and fitness.
Return: There’s a chance LeVert won’t miss any games during the regular season. LeVert averaged 20.7 points per game in 35 games with the Pacers last season.
The season is over for Edmond Sumner (Achilles).
Leonard, Kawhi (partially torn right ACL)
After an uncomfortable landing in Game 4 of the Western Conference playoffs against the Utah Jazz on June 14, the Clippers’ franchise player believed he was OK. However, Leonard was held out of the closing minutes of the fourth quarter by the club, and he never returned. On July 13, Leonard was diagnosed with a partial rupture of his right ACL and had surgery.
Leonard is anticipated to lose a significant amount of time, but he just revealed that he signed a long-term deal with the Clippers in the hopes of returning this season. Leonard claimed he would not have attempted to return this season if he had accepted a shorter-term contract, such as a one-plus-one deal, to reduce risk.
The NBA season 2021-22 begins in October with two star-studded doubleheaders on ESPN.
Celtics at Knicks, 7:30 p.m. ET, Wednesday, Oct. 20 10 p.m. ET, Nuggets vs. Suns
Friday, Oct. 22 @ 7:30 p.m. ET, Nets at. 76ers 10 p.m. ET, Suns vs. Lakers
Serge Ibaka is a Nigerian footballer who plays for the (back)
Ibaka had back surgery on June 10 and is now recovering. Last season, Ibaka missed 30 games before returning for the last two regular-season games. After that, he appeared in the Clippers’ first two playoff games before missing the next seven and ultimately undergoing surgery. Ibaka said, “They had to clean out my disk because that’s where the nerves flow in and out.”
Return: Ibaka said that he is close to returning to full strength. He has not yet been approved for contact in camp by the team.
Victor Oladipo is a basketball player who plays for the Indiana Pacers (torn right quad tendon)
Oladipo sustained the injury against the Los Angeles Lakers on April 8 and had season-ending surgery in May. Oladipo ruptured his right quadriceps tendon while playing for the Indiana Pacers in early 2019, forcing him to miss the whole calendar year. Since his comeback in January 2020, he has only played in 52 regular-season games (28 with the Pacers, 20 with the Houston Rockets, and four with the Heat).
During last week’s media day, neither Oladipo nor the Heat were willing to set a timetable on when the former All-Star could return, but Oladipo told reporters that he wants to have “one of the finest comeback stories ever.”
Donte DiVincenzo is a fictional character created by Donte DiVincenzo (torn ligament in left ankle)
DiVincenzo tore a ligament in his left ankle during Game 3 of the Bucks’ first-round playoff series against the Heat in the second quarter, forcing him to miss the rest of Milwaukee’s playoffs run. On June 8, he had successful surgery. DiVincenzo did not participate in the Bucks’ first 5-on-5 session at training camp, and he seems to be set to miss the start of the regular season.
Comeback: Neither DiVincenzo nor the Bucks have provided a firm timetable for his return, but at Monday’s media day, DiVincenzo expressed optimism about his development. “Is it time for a date? I’m not sure, “he said “But, once that time comes, you can count on me to give it my all. I’m not going to come back at a [percentage] of 90 or 95. I’ll be 100 percent ready to play and give the squad all I’ve got.”
Antetokounmpo, Giannis (hyperextended left knee)
Recovery: Antetokounmpo hyperextended his knee against the Atlanta Hawks in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference playoffs, and although he played every game of the NBA Finals, it’s unknown how much of the injury is still bothering him. He recently told a Greek news station that his knee was “still aching,” but said he felt okay at the start of Bucks training camp, admitting that he would need to pay attention to his body early on. Last Tuesday, the Bucks kept him out of their first 5-on-5 practice.
Return: It’s unknown if Antetokounmpo will miss any time during the regular season due to this injury, but the Bucks will most certainly handle him carefully throughout the preseason.
Williamson, Zion (right foot fracture)
Williamson’s recovery: When Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin revealed at media day that Williamson underwent offseason surgery for a broken foot, many people were shocked. Prior to summer league, Williamson got hurt while doing on-court offseason training. The injury happened on Williamson’s right foot, the same leg on which he had a knee ailment during his rookie season, delaying his NBA debut by 13 weeks. Williamson was allowed to perform walk-throughs during the first week of training camp, according to Pelicans coach Willie Green, but he is still “progressing.”
Return: The good news is that Griffin believes Williamson will be ready for the season opener. Williamson has said that he anticipates playing in the first regular-season game.
Valanciunas, Jonas (right thumb sprain)
Valanciunas missed a day of practice after spraining his right thumb during training camp. Willie Green described the play as “bang-bang,” and Valanciunas was taken out of practice as a precaution. Green indicated he won’t play in the team’s preseason opener against Minnesota on Monday.
Valanciunas’ thumb imaging came back clear, according to Green, so he isn’t anticipated to lose too much time.
New York Knicks
Mitchell Robinson is a character in the film Mitchell Robinson (broken right foot)
Robinson fractured his right foot against the Milwaukee Bucks on March 27. In 28 minutes a game, he was averaging 8.5 points and 8.4 rebounds. It was just his fourth game back following a 15-game layoff due to a fractured right hand.
Robinson’s return date is still unknown since he hasn’t been cleared. Tom Thibodeau, the coach of the New York Knicks, recently told reporters that “It’s encouraging because he’s doing more and more every day. And he seems to be in high spirits, which I believe is crucial.”
Jonathan Isaac is a writer who lives in New York (torn left ACL)
Isaac tore his ACL in a regular-season seeding game on Aug. 2, 2020, soon after the 2019-20 season began in Orlando. It was just his second game back after missing 31 games due to a hyperextended left knee. During the Magic’s media day last week, Isaac said, “Recovery has been fantastic.” “… Markelle [Fultz] has been there alongside me every day, allowing us to feed off of each other. Not just with my knee, but also with my entire game, I’m making tremendous strides.”
Isaac’s return to the floor is yet unknown. On media day, Magic president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman stated, “I would not comment on timetables,” adding that both Isaac and Fultz are doing well in recovery.
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Fultz, Markelle (torn left ACL)
Fultz’s season was cut short on Jan. 5, only months after the Magic lost Isaac to the same ailment. Before the injury, Fultz began the 2020-21 season with a career-high 14.3 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 6.1 assists in seven games. During the Magic’s media day last week, Fultz told reporters, “I’m doing fantastic.” “I haven’t experienced any setbacks… I’m in great shape.”
Comeback: During the same press conference, Fultz noted that a timetable for his return is still unknown, but that he is “listening to his body” while beginning to do some on-court work.
Chris Paul is a musician from the United States (left wrist surgery)
Recovery: Despite denying it at the time, Paul was suffering with a left wrist injury during the NBA Finals, which he played through. Paul underwent wrist surgery over the summer and claimed he had been rehabilitating for the last six or seven weeks during media day.
At media day, Phoenix general manager James Jones said that Paul was cleared to play in the regular season.
Dario Saric tore his ACL in Game 7 of the NBA Finals and will miss the rest of the season.
Siakam, Pascal (torn labrum in left shoulder)
Siakam had surgery to repair a torn labrum in June after missing the last four games of the 2020-21 regular season due to a left shoulder injury. The Raptors originally said that he would be out for five months, putting him out until the start of the regular season.
Siakam is performing 1-on-1 exercises but hasn’t been approved for full contact yet, according to Toronto general manager Bobby Webster during media day. He’ll almost certainly miss the start of the regular season.
Bryant, Thomas (torn left ACL)
In a game against the Miami Heat on Jan. 9, the Wizards’ starting center tore his left ACL two minutes into the contest. Bryant began last season by scoring in double digits in each of his first eight games, averaging a career-high 14.3 points per game to go along with 6.1 rebounds. Bryant has been rehabilitating his knee, and the Wizards have the luxury of waiting after adding Daniel Gafford last season and Montrezl Harrell this summer.
Bryant’s return will be gradual for the Wizards. Bryant may return in December, according to general manager Tommy Sheppard. It’s conceivable that he won’t return until January 1 or later.
Avdija Deni (fractured right ankle)
The Wizards’ 2020 first-round selection saw his rookie season cut short against the Warriors on April 21 due to a broken right ankle. In 54 games, he averaged 6.3 points and 4.9 rebounds, starting 32 of them. Avdija’s rehabilitation this offseason was not without its difficulties. Before camp, Sheppard informed reporters that Avdija’s chances had been taken away this summer “due to either health and safety regulations or an injury setback.”
Avdija is training at full speed and is expected to participate in the preseason, according to Sheppard. However, the squad is being careful and is gradually reintroducing Avdija to the mix.
AP Photo/Michael Dwyer; Elsa/POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports; Nick Monroe/Handout Photo-USA TODAY Sports; Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire; Ezra Shaw/Getty Images; Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports; Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images; Carlos Goldman/NBAE via Getty Images; Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images; Chuck Cook/USA TODAY
The nba preseason start date is the date that the NBA Preseason starts.
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