Andre Roberson participates in more of Thunder practice, still not doing much contact
Oklahoma City Thunder forward Andre Roberson is nearing a return to the court for the first time since early 2018. Per Thunder beat writer Erik Horne, the five-year veteran is doing full-court drills and working on change of direction fitness. Here’s a video of Roberson working on his mobility in practice:
A lot more post-practice movement from Andre Roberson than last week. Thunder assistants working with Roberson on full-court defense/change of direction/fitness. Billy Donovan said Roberson did more in practice today. pic.twitter.com/KWHb3PyUVi
— Erik Horne (@ErikHorneOK) October 18, 2019
Although he is progressing, Roberson is still not participating in many contact drills. The OKC team is treading lightly so far after the Roberson ruptured his left patellar tendon in January of 2018.
The Thunder have been eagerly awaiting Roberson’s return, but the process has been lengthy and slow. After such a terrible injury, the Thunder knows it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Before his injury, Roberson was one of the top perimeter defenders in the league. In his last full season, Roberson was a member of the All-Defensive second team, and far and away OKC’s best wing defender.
Unfortunately, the injury might rob Roberson of some of his lateral quickness, which could be hugely detrimental to his defensive abilities.
The Thunder and Roberson are hoping he can return this season to a roster that is entirely foreign to Roberson now. The All-Stars he played with previously are all gone now, and the Thunder is comprised mostly of young players looking to develop.
When he returns, Roberson will be one of OKC’s few veterans and could help players like Shai Gilgeous Alexander take significant steps in their defensive game.