Jabari Parker is back!
Well, sort of...
Jabari may be a long way from returning to full-speed NBA basketball, but that didn't make his pregame appearance at the BMO Harris Bradley Center tonight -- in sneakers and shorts rather than a suit -- any less encouraging.
Just three months removed from successful surgery on the torn ACL he suffered on December 15, Jabari was on the court putting up shots before Wednesday night's game against the Chicago Bulls. He's not back to dunking on guys (yet), but his appearance does mark another milestone in the 20-year-old Parker's long rehab process. To the photographic evidence!
Jabari Parker out on the court working before the game pic.twitter.com/JwITlcBisY— Andrew Gruman (@AndrewGruman) April 1, 2015
Head coach Jason Kidd was encouraged to have him doing some light work before the Bucks took on Chicago.
"It's good to see him back on the floor and he's going in the right direction step-by-step," Kidd said, "and he's done a great job being patient and doing everything he's been asked of through the rehab.
"I thought it was good that we kept him around the team. Being able to be around at the shootarounds and meetings, and supporting his teammates, he’s done a great job with that."
No timetable has been provided for Parker's official return, but it's only natural to hope that he might be ready to return by the time the regular season tips off next fall. That would be about 10 months exactly since his surgery, a timetable consistent with other players who have suffered "clean" ACL tears. Then again, you wouldn't expect the Bucks to risk anything with a player as important as Parker, so we might have to wait a bit longer as well.
Fingers crossed? Fingers crossed.