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Suns assign Alan Williams to NAZ as he nears return from knee injury

(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

Phoenix Suns center Alan Williams will join the Northern Arizona Suns on Thursday as he continues shaking off the rust before making his 2017-18 debut.

The third-year big man underwent meniscus repair surgery on his right knee on Sept. 25 and has practiced five-on-five with the NBA team twice.

With a Friday night game in Prescott Valley, Ariz., against the Raptors 905, he could potentially return to the parent Suns team for a Saturday game against the Golden State Warriors.

“The training staff has done a good job of just keeping me on a treadmill, Versaclimber, other things to just keep my conditioning up,” Williams said after practice on Wednesday. “But there’s nothing like game reps and there’s nothing like practice reps, so just trying to catch up with the other guys.

“I’ll get there, for sure.”

After going undrafted in 2015, Williams earned a spot on the Suns’ roster to end the 2015-16 season before playing in 47 games last year. He averaged 7.4 points and 6.2 rebounds in 15.1 minutes per game while shooting 51.7 percent from the floor.

Once back with the Phoenix team, which has 13 games left in the regular season, the 25-year can work his way back into shape — and audition himself for an uncertain offseason.

The Suns will only have one center, Tyson Chandler, locked into a contract next season. Williams could finish the year strong to propel him into next summer and next year, where his $5.5 million contract is not fully-guaranteed.

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