OKLAHOMA CITY — Andre Roberson was a “full go” at practice yesterday. Considering the roller coaster 20 months he has been through, this was a good thing to hear. You could see it in his eyes and smile what it meant to return to the floor.
“I feel great man,” Roberson said yesterday. “Coming into this with a lot of emotions, obviously. It’s overall just good to be back on the court. I felt good out there.”
Roberson’s left patellar injury happened in January 2018. In between now and then, he has had multiple setbacks that have kept him off the floor. Doubts have fumigated Thunder-world whether Roberson would ever be able to play basketball again — let alone at the elite level he was prior to the injury defensively.
That all seems to be in the rear view mirror.
“No restrictions as of right now,” Roberson said. “Full go. Just managing myself, don’t want to push it too hard, too crazy. Going hard when I can.”
Sam Presti told assembled media last week that he expected Roberson to be “on the floor” for training camp. Billy Donovan and Roberson reiterated that sentiment at Thunder Media Day. The vague phrasing still left the door open for questions if Roberson would be able to fully participate in practice. During his rehab, he has ‘practiced’ with the team — shooting and light conditioning. Sprinting, jumping and cutting were not a part of it however.
From yesterday, Andre Roberson says he’s concerned more with “getting used to his body” as he returns to Thunder practice pic.twitter.com/0BH5kWOEsH
— Brady Trantham (@BradyDoesSports) October 2, 2019
Roberson claims that as of now, he is mostly concerned with getting back into game shape.
“No hesitation on anything,” Roberson added. “It’s mainly just me getting used to my body. Just me getting used to my body. Obviously the timing of the game is a little different as opposed to when I left. Getting the chemistry down with these guys, knowing how to move with them.”
In addition to rehabbing his body to return to the floor, Roberson even changed his diet. After admitting he had gained a few pounds during his time off the floor, the Thunder wing found inspiration from his new teammate and plant-based food extraordinaire Chris Paul.
“Obviously I’m staying in shape but gained a couple pounds in my upper body over my rehab process,” Roberson said. “I went to CP’s Gamechanger premiere. I kind of got some insight with that. After watching that Gamechanger documentary, there’s a lot of interesting stuff in terms of recovery and other stuff that I feel like can help me out in the future.”
While Roberson has returned to practice, Paul did drop that he has only played full-speed for a little over a month now.
“The trade happened and I came here and he was sort of rehabbing and then I came and we played pick-up and I think that was his first time playing,” Paul said yesterday. “So being out as long as he’s been, you’ve got to be eager and want to get out there. It’s just good to see him around because he’s such a positive guy.”
Brady Trantham has covered the Oklahoma City Thunder for The Franchise since April 2018 and for Thunder Digest since 2016. He hosts a Thunder podcast with Madysson Morris “OKC-82 Podcast” which can be found on all podcast outlets, and is a featured co-host on the Franchise Thunder Insider’s Show on Saturdays from 10-12. For Sooner fans, you can also listen to the “Inside OU” podcast with John Hoover, Rufus Alexander and Brady. Brady is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma class of 2014. Follow him on Twitter @BradyDoesSports