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Kings’ Marvin Bagley III cleared for full contact basketball

Marvin Bagley, Kings

Sacramento Kings forward Marvin Bagley III is nearing a return to the court following an update provided by the team Thursday, which stated that the second-year big man “has been cleared to resume full-contact basketball activities.”

Bagley has not suited up for a regular-season contest since the team’s first game of the season back on Oct. 23. Having fractured his right thumb, Bagley has now missed the team’s last 19 games. While the update is a step in the right direction, he still appears a ways away from returning to the Kings’ rotation.

Entering the season, Bagley was figured to be counted upon by new head coach Luke Walton as a vital cog in the Sacramento frontcourt. His absence has led the way for the likes of Nemanja Bjelica and Richaun Holmes to see increased roles, which both players have capitalized upon to make a significant early-season impact. It’s not immediately clear who would depart from the starting five to make room for Bagley.

Following the All-Star break last season, Bagley showed glimpses of his All-Star potential. He averaged 18.5 points and 9.2 rebounds per contest over his final 19 outings, shooting 48.7 percent overall and 39 percent from behind the three-point line.

The Kings got another look at that ability when he recorded a double-double in the first game of the year. Since then, he has been a bystander as the team has skid to an 8-12 start. For a team that still boasts playoff aspirations as soon as this upcoming April, getting Bagley back in the mix will be a major coup.