Phoenix Suns head coach Igor Kokoskov said guard Devin Booker will play in Wednesday’s season-opener against the Dallas Mavericks after recovering from hand surgery, according to Duane Rankin of AZ Central.
Booker underwent surgery to repair his fifth metacarpophalangeal joint on his right hand in September and missed the entire preseason, but he is apparently healthy enough to return for the first game of the regular season.
His return comes nearly a week ahead of the initial six-week timeline for the recovery.
The 21-year-old was cleared for contact on Saturday and participated in five-on-five drills for the first time, per Rankin.
“He looked good,” Kokoskov said of Booker. “As we all know, on any level that you play, when you’re recovering from something, an injury, there’s some kind of hesitation when it comes to the contact, but I don’t see that in Book.”
Although he could be rusty after the missed time, he remains the team’s best offensive player and will likely be a go-to option right out of the gate Wednesday.
Booker set a career-high with 24.9 points per game last season in 54 appearances, which would have been good for eighth in the NBA if he had enough games to qualify. As long as he stays healthy, he should have similar numbers in 2018-19, although he could be forced to take on more of a playmaking role with the Suns lacking an established point guard.
With No. 1 overall draft pick Deandre Ayton also making his career debut Wednesday, Phoenix fans will have a lot to look forward to at the beginning of the year.
Courtesy: Bleacher Report