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.

Phoenix Suns

General manager James Jones of the Phoenix Suns watches warm-ups to Game One of the Western Confere...
Jake Anderson

Phoenix Suns extend contract of general manager James Jones

The Phoenix Suns have extended the contract of general manager James Jones, the team announced on Tuesday.
16 hours ago
Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul (3) looks to pass as Utah Jazz guard Trent Forrest (3) defends during...
Kellan Olson

Chris Paul, Devin Booker lead Suns past shorthanded Jazz

The Suns do not want to get into the habit of needing heroics from Devin Booker and Chris Paul to win them games but they did Monday.
16 hours ago
Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) drives against the Utah Jazz during the first half of an NBA ba...
Arizona Sports

Devin Booker’s hot start fuels Suns in victory against Jazz

Devin Booker scored 33 points through three quarters and Phoenix Suns took care of the Utah Jazz on Monday.
2 days ago
Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet (23) drives around Phoenix Suns centre Deandre Ayton (22) durin...
Arizona Sports

Suns’ Deandre Ayton, Jae Crowder, Cam Payne out vs. Jazz

The Suns will be missing multiple contributors in Deandre Ayton, Jae Crowder and Cam Payne in Monday's home matchup vs. the Jazz.
2 days ago
Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns drives the ball past Mike Conley #10 of the Utah Jazz during th...
Kellan Olson

Phoenix Suns meet Utah Jazz for 1st time with back-to-back matchups

Even with injuries on both sides, the first matchups between the Phoenix Suns and Utah Jazz will provide high-level basketball.
2 days ago
Jae Crowder #99 of the Phoenix Suns reacts to an injury during the second half of the NBA game agai...
Kellan Olson

Suns’ win against depleted Pacers overshadowed by injuries for Phoenix

The Phoenix Suns got a win on Saturday night but what was first on everyone's minds was the statuses of Jae Crowder and Cam Payne.
4 days ago
Kelly Oubre Jr. expected to return from meniscus surgery for Suns in Orlando