PHOENIX SUNS

Kelly Oubre Jr. expected to return from meniscus surgery for Suns in Orlando

Jun 4, 2020, 3:55 PM | Updated: 4:46 pm
Kelly Oubre Jr. #3 of the Phoenix Suns during the first half of the NBA game against the Houston Ro...
Kelly Oubre Jr. #3 of the Phoenix Suns during the first half of the NBA game against the Houston Rockets at Talking Stick Resort Arena on February 07, 2020 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

If the Phoenix Suns were going to return to action after the season was suspended on March 11 due to COVID-19, the biggest question was the status of forward Kelly Oubre Jr.

Oubre tore his right meniscus in late February and had successful surgery to repair it on March 3. He was to be re-evaluated in four weeks, but that was before the quarantine hit for coronavirus, and Oubre spent the majority of his rehab process isolated away from the medical staff at home.

So, even with the timeline of the Suns playing in Orlando starting at the beginning of August, a five-month recovery timeline for Oubre was still a little murky.

Suns owner Robert Sarver clarified that on Arizona Sports’ Burns & Gambo Thursday when asked if Oubre will play.

“Yes,” he said. “I expect he will play, yes.”

Oubre is one of the Suns’ best and most important players. He is second on the team in minutes per game (34.5), rebounds per game (6.4), and blocks per game (0.7). Oubre’s also third in points per game (18.7) and steals per game (1.3).

After signing a new two-year contract last offseason, the 2020-21 season is Oubre’s contract year, and an accelerated NBA timeline of the league ending the regular season in mid-August and returning in early December would be a good reason for Oubre to be cautious.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Thursday that the league will have all 22 teams in Orlando play eight games over 16 days, a high-paced schedule the Suns could be careful with for the minutes of players like Oubre, Devin Booker and Ricky Rubio.

With the Suns having five teams ahead of them for the two potential play-in spots after eight games, it wouldn’t be surprising for them to pull back on some players’ involvement, especially in the back-half of the schedule when they could already be eliminated.

Frank Kaminsky, who hasn’t played since Dec. 28 due to a right patella stress fracture, is also expected to be back for the Suns, per Sarver.

Penguin Air

Phoenix Suns

Owner Robert Sarver of the Phoenix Suns attends the NBA game against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Pho...
Arizona Sports

Tumultuous week led to Suns owner Robert Sarver’s decision to sell

A new report details more behind-the-scenes information that resulted in Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver's decision to sell the team.
1 day ago
Cameron Johnson #23 of the Phoenix Suns handles the ball against Russell Westbrook #0 of the Los An...
Kellan Olson

Cam Johnson ready for elevated role with Suns in Jae Crowder’s absence

While Jae Crowder's impact will be missed, Phoenix Suns wing Cam Johnson has proven he's ready and deserves to be a starter.
1 day ago
Head coach Monty Williams of the Phoenix Suns talks with Deandre Ayton #22 in the second half of ga...
Dan Bickley

Silence between Deandre Ayton, Monty Williams defies all expectations

The indifference of Phoenix Suns head coach Monty Williams is stunning. So much that it must be the entire point, writes Dan Bickley.
1 day ago
Deandre Ayton #22 and Head coach Monty Williams of the Phoenix Suns react during Game Four of the W...
Kevin Zimmerman

Deandre Ayton: Monty Williams hasn’t spoken to him since Game 7 vs. Mavs

Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton did not quell concerns about his unhappiness at media day Monday. Tuesday made clear there is a problem.
1 day ago
Dallas Mavericks forward Davis Bertans (44) gets fouled by Phoenix Suns forward Jae Crowder (99) du...
Kevin Zimmerman

What the Suns could get back in a Jae Crowder trade

Five potential landing spots for Jae Crowder and what the Phoenix Suns could get in return for the veteran.
2 days ago
Kelly Oubre Jr. expected to return from meniscus surgery for Suns in Orlando