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Suns open doors to Coliseum, begin holding voluntary limited workouts

A photo of Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum (Phoenix Mercury/Facebook)

Members of the Phoenix Suns have begun participating in limited voluntary workouts at the Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum, the team confirmed on Monday.

The NBA began allowing teams to reopen practice facilities on May 8, given they met the safety guidelines in their corresponding state for the COVID-19 pandemic. There are still no group or team workouts, and the Suns are working out in a one player and staff member fashion for the time being with the expected precautions in place for the virus.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the league had hoped 22 of its 30 franchises would be open for workouts by Monday.

With renovations of Talking Stick Resort Arena getting fully underway in late April, the Suns committed to the Coliseum, the home of the franchise from 1968-1992, as the location for finishing out the season if the league does so.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey’s stay-at-home order expired on Friday and major sports leagues were given the go-ahead to resume in the state with no fans in attendance beginning on Saturday. That included gyms and pools opening.

“We have had discussions with leaders of some of these leagues and they all know they are welcome to operate, play and perform in the state of Arizona,” Ducey said.

The status of the NBA season remains up in the air.

The league recently polled players on returning and received enough positive feedback to push forward with planning out a potential timeline. Commissioner Adam Silver wants to reach a decision sometime within the next 1-3 weeks, per The Athletic’s Shams Charania.

Phoenix is 65 games into the 2019-20 season, with a record of 26-39 and six games out of a playoff spot.

The workouts will be particularly helpful to two players, Kelly Oubre Jr. and Frank Kaminsky, who had their rehab processes halted. General manager James Jones described those players as “stuck” at a certain point in mid-April because of the team’s inability to work them through the recoveries first-hand.

Oubre had surgery on a torn meniscus in early March and had to go through nearly his entire rehab away from the team. He posted a video to his Instagram page on May 3 getting off a few dunks in his backyard, noting it was his first time jumping since the surgery.

Kaminsky was out of game action since Dec. 28 due to a right patella stress fracture. The team’s latest status update on Kaminsky had him out indefinitely in early March.

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