BROOKLYN, N.Y. — Following Brooklyn Nets practice Monday afternoon was a familiar sight with a new addition. A few Nets guards were involved in their regular post-practice three-point shooting contest, to see how many threes they could make in a certain timeframe.
Included in the shooting contest: Nets wing Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, who hasn’t played in NBA action since December 4th against the New York Knicks.
Hollis-Jefferson broke a bone in his ankle in the practice following that game, and was expected to be out 8 to 10 weeks following surgery on December 9th. Nearly 13 weeks later, Hollis-Jefferson has returned to practice, according to Nets interim head coach Tony Brown.
Brown said that Hollis-Jefferson had participated in “every facet” of team practice, which included contact and scrimmaging, and that he’d participated in some team practices during their 20-day, 7-game “Circus Trip.”
There’s still no timetable for Hollis-Jefferson’s official return to game action, and Brown said he would need Hollis-Jefferson to get back into “game shape” before he’d be comfortable playing him. Brown added that he’d yet to have a conversation with Nets trainer Tim Walsh about Hollis-Jefferson’s progress.
Before his injury, Hollis-Jefferson posted averages of 5.2 points and 6.1 rebounds in 22 minutes per game, working his way into the starting lineup by the sixth game of the season. He said that sitting out the entire road trip was difficult for him.
“As we started to travel more on the trip, just sitting on the bench every game on the west coast trip, it was just like, ugh,” Hollis-Jefferson sighed. “Ugh. I mean you want to play. You understand the situation, but anyone says ‘you want to be out there’ even if (you) can’t. And that bothers you. That bothers you at the end of the day.
“You’ve got to understand that everything happens for a reason. Just be patient.”