Having completed a week’s worth of practices without a setback of the injured left knee that’s kept Nick Young out of 16 of the last 17 games, the swing man is expected to return for Friday night’s game against Washington.
“I’ll be out there against the Wizards,” said Young after Thursday’s practice. “I’ve been waiting. It’s tough to sit in the back and watch these games. I’ve been wanting to get out there from the time the second half of the season started.”
Young suffered a non-displaced fracture of the patella and a bone bruise after hyperextending his knee at Cleveland on Feb. 5. He returned to play 20 minutes off the bench against Brooklyn on Feb. 23, but has been out since after experiencing further soreness.
Mike D’Antoni said Young will return to his role off the bench, but tempered expectations for Friday evening.
“It depends on him,” said the coach. “You never know. He could be rusty, he could be rusty the third game, the first game, the second game, the second half, who knows. You just play it by ear and as long as he’s playing well, then he’ll stay on the floor. If not, then we’ll sub him in and out. It’s good to get him back and good to get him back in the flow.”
D’Antoni suggested that Jordan Hill could also be available to use against the Wizards, but will see how his knee responds to Thursday’s practice at Friday’s shootaround.
Young, who ranks second on the team in scoring at 16.8 points per game (Pau Gasol, 17.8), appears good to go.
“I’m feeling good,” he said. “I had a couple days to get a couple practices in and test it out and see how I feel out there.”