Jabari Parker has been practicing and scrimmaging with his Bucks teammates since the start of training camp over a month ago. Now he can play live basketball games with them, too.
Parker received the medical green light to return to the court on Monday, clearing the way for his return on Wednesday when the Bucks return home to take on the Philadelphia 76ers. Charles Gardner of the Journal-Sentinel was the first to report the news, which had been anticipated after suggestions last week that Parker could return as soon as Monday in Brooklyn. Orthopedic surgeon David Altchek of the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York performed the ACL reconstruction in January, about a month after Parker suffered the injury on December 15 in Phoenix. It had been expected that Parker would meet with Altchek for a final check-up this week.
It's not clear what kind of role Parker will have on Wednesday, though the Bucks have made it clear they intend to bring him along slowly. With the Bucks struggling to settle on a starting power forward in his absence -- sorry, Johnny O'Bryant and Chris Copeland -- it's maybe possible Parker could start right away, though the bench might be a safer route and he's expected to be on a minutes limit regardless. In other words, don't expect him to play more than 10 to 15 minutes on Wednesday.
Parker looked sharp in scoring a game-high 15 points at the Bucks' open scrimmage four weeks ago, so the hope is that he can provide an offensive spark while he works his way into shape. As for the defensive end? Well, that figures to be much more difficult, especially given the Bucks' early struggles, though it's essential for the team's long-term success that Parker starts to play catch-up after playing just 25 games as a rookie.
In other good news, point guard Tyler Ennis also has been cleared to return starting on Wednesday, nearly six months after undergoing surgery on a torn labrum. Altchek also performed Ennis' shoulder surgery, which was a similar procedure to the one that teammate Michael Carter-Williams underwent in May 2014.