CAMDEN, N.J. — The Philadelphia 76ers will still be without Kelly Oubre Jr. for a little while as he continues to recover from injuries he sustained when he was hit by a car last weekend. But the good news is that the Sixers forward continues to make progress.
Oubre was at the Sixers' Monday afternoon practice and got some work in with the medical staff and player development coaches afterward. While Oubre has been in the Sixers' practice facility previously to ride an exercise bike, this was his first time doing work on the court.
Wearing a compression wrap around his midsection as he works his way back from a fractured rib, Oubre did shuttle runs — first in a jog and then in a light run — before getting shooting some shots. He got up some stationary jumpers before getting into some drills shooting off the dribble.
Kelly Oubre Jr getting some light cardio work in after Sixers practice pic.twitter.com/Plj73AqKUY
— Sam DiGiovanni (@BySamDiGiovanni) November 20, 2023
“That was his first day back on court,” Nick Nurse said. “Simon [Rice, the Sixers' vice president of athlete care] has told me that today and tomorrow are pretty critical in the evaluation. I think getting him moving was the first step. Getting him into some contact and things is the next step. And then I think after tomorrow, we'll have a little better read on the timeline.”
Last Sunday, the Sixers announced that Oubre will be re-evaluated in approximately one week. A report from Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN said that Oubre could return to play sometime around the end of November. Nurse isn’t focusing too much on his timeline to return at the moment but, obviously, would love to get him back in action as soon as possible.
“I haven't really zeroed in on thinking about the timeline, to be honest with you,” Nurse said. “I mean, I think I knew it was gonna be a little bit before we knew. But I think he's moving pretty good today and I think that's the first positive sign…The sooner, the better, that's for sure.”
The Sixers were very happy to have Oubre back in the facility and have kept him in their thoughts as they continued with their season.
“Just his energy, obviously,” Patrick Beverley said when asked what it's like to have Oubre back in (limited) action. “Obviously you miss his play but just his swag, his energy. Just good to see his face, good to know he's cool. We're supporting him through it all. It's just good to have him back out here.”
Robert Covington said it was good to see Oubre get back on the Sixers' practice court. “It was good to see him in, get to experience him and everything and get to see him getting up and down. He said his recovery has been going well. He feels pretty good. So it's just a matter of we're just waiting,” Covington said.
Oubre being back on the court is an important first step for a Sixers team that is eager to get him back. But the process to get him back up to speed is still ongoing.
“I think getting him into some action where there's some contact,” Nurse said when asked what the next steps will be. “I think they'll go some type of drill work where there's some live [action] against development coaches, things like that, will probably be the very next step. And then we just gotta progress it to live scrimmaging, I think, before they get back on the court.”
The Sixers are playing well to begin the season and the return of Kelly Oubre Jr. will only aid them as they compete for the championship.