Blazers news: Noah Vonleh on schedule to return in three weeks
Portland Trail Blazers power forward Noah Vonleh is right on schedule to return to the team’s lineup in three weeks time, NBC Sports Northwest’s Jason Quick reports.
Blazers' PF Noah Vonleh says he is on schedule to return in 3 weeks from shoulder strain. Has no pain and full range-of-motion.
— Jason Quick (@jwquick) October 12, 2017
Vonleh has missed the Blazers’ entire preseason after suffering a shoulder strain during a pickup game at the team’s practice facility in late September.
Vonleh was expected to be the team’s first-choice power forward after starting 37 of the team’s final 38 games last season. He averaged 5.8 points and 6.8 rebounds during that span to go along with solid defense. However, the Blazers have multiple options to start in his place due to their strong frontcourt depth.
In preparation for being without Vonleh for the first few weeks of the season, head coach Terry Stotts has tried several of those different starting power forward options this preseason. Al-Farouq Aminu has made two starts, while rookie Caleb Swanigan and veteran Ed Davis each got a start apiece. Meyers Leonard is also another option for the Blazers off the bench.
However, Aminu is still expected to take over as the starting power forward during the regular season until Vonleh returns. Aminu has averaged 5.2 points and 5.2 rebounds in 18.6 minutes per game over five preseason contests.