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Madhouse workouts beneficial to mending Suns F Frank Kaminsky

Houston Rockets' James Harden (13) goes up for a shot as Phoenix Suns' Frank Kaminsky (8) defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

A mid-March day began as a happy one for Phoenix Suns forward Frank Kaminsky. He was cleared to begin workouts for a return from a right patella stress fracture that had sidelined him since Dec. 28.

March 11 quickly soured.

The coronavirus forced the NBA to suspend its season with the Suns sitting at 26-39. Soon after, the team shuttered Talking Stick Resort Arena, keeping Kaminsky away from his teammates and leaving him and fellow rehabbing forward Kelly Oubre Jr. “stuck,” in head coach Monty Williams’ words.

“It’s just kind of unfortunate how everything came to a screeching halt,” Kaminsky said on a Zoom call Thursday.

The social distancing left Kaminsky to fend for himself. He bought a weight set and moved his home speakers outside to work out over the last few months.

He admitted that some of his neighbors didn’t appreciate the loud music blasting during his workouts. The police got called, multiple times.

“That’s things you got to do to pretty much get by,” Kaminsky said.

As the NBA considers restarting the season — a proposed gathering in Orlando is reportedly the leading plan to move ahead — Kaminsky said he is healthy enough to play. This week, he joined “most guys” on the Suns who have done individual workouts at the team’s temporary home, Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

Kaminsky said players must get their temperature checked every time they enter the building. While he’s seen his teammates, they have been staying far away from one another, limiting the basketball portions of workouts.

There are no screens being set, but Kaminsky said having a court at the Suns’ former home (1968-1992) still provides a better workout situation than the one he had at home.

“It’s really beneficial. It’s good to finally be back on the court, start to build towards something,” he said.

“It’s really cool. Obviously this is an old building but it’s got a historic feel to it. It’s definitely different than any NBA arena I’ve been in. I’m kind of fascinated by the engineering of this building …”

Kaminsky and his teammates are now in a wait-and-see scenario. He has listened in on player-league calls and believes the momentum is real — the NBA will be back in some capacity. He said players would need a few weeks of practice time as a full team before they would be game-ready.

Where and when a season restart can happen, who knows? Kaminsky is just itching to play a little more.

“I’ll go to Saturn to play basketball right now,” he said.

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