Suns’ Abdel Nader sees game action after knee surgery

Jun 27, 2021, 3:13 PM | Updated: 8:26 pm

JUNE 26: Abdel Nader #11 of the Phoenix Suns goes up for a shot against Ivica Zubac #40 of the LA C...

JUNE 26: Abdel Nader #11 of the Phoenix Suns goes up for a shot against Ivica Zubac #40 of the LA Clippers during the first half in game four of the Western Conference Finals at Staples Center on June 26, 2021 in Los Angeles, California.(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

After going down with a knee injury in late March, Suns wingman Abdel Nader returned in Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals vs. the Clippers.

Nader underwent arthroscopic knee surgery in April and was ruled out indefinitely.

The 6-foot-5 forward missed 20 games due to right knee soreness prior to the team announcing that he would undergo surgery on April 26.

“It was a dream come true. I’m extremely grateful for the training staff for getting me right,” Nader said via Zoom. “The coaching staff for trusting me and believing in me just to throw me in there on my first day back, so extremely blessed and grateful.”

Nader played five minutes in the Game 4 victory and grabbed two rebounds for Phoenix.

As the Suns continue their playoff push, Nader hopes to provide an extra boost of energy when his name gets called.

“I just bring my versatility, whether that’s locking up somebody on the defensive end,” Nader said. “Guarding one of their better perimeter players, or their fours. Or me just coming in making shots and attacking the rim.”

During his rehab process, Nader told reporters on Sunday that he was just taking things a day at a time.

“I feel amazing now, back to normal. And like I said, just blessed to have a team that can make it this far and give me an opportunity to come back.”

Phoenix has had to deal with some injuries during the playoffs whether it was Chris Paul suffering a stinger in his right arm in the first round and then missing time in the conference finals due to health and safety protocols. Or Cam Payne going down with an ankle injury in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals, Nader admires his team’s spirit to keep pushing.

“We’re just a cohesive unit,” Nader said. “If one guy goes down, next guy up, and we believe in the next guy. We believe in our unit as a whole, even with the coaching staff. So I think that’s the most unique thing about us. Everybody’s on the same page and that’s what makes the team special.

The Western Conference Finals continues on Monday 6 p.m. at Phoenix Suns Arena.

Listen to all the action on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.

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