OKC Thunder: Andre Roberson back in Oklahoma to continue rehab

Oklahoma City Thunder Andre Roberson (Photo credit should read PEDRO PARDO/AFP via Getty Images)
Oklahoma City Thunder Andre Roberson (Photo credit should read PEDRO PARDO/AFP via Getty Images) /

OKC Thunder wing Andre Roberson has returned to continue his rehab in Oklahoma City. What does this mean for his future and for the team?

Andre Roberson has not played a game for the OKC Thunder in over two years. Once considered one of the league’s best defenders he’s been sidelined with a gruesome knee injury since January of 2018.  The road to recovery has been a long and lonely one filled with a ton of twists and turns.

After a confident display at OKC Thunder media day prior to the start of this season, fans and media alike thought the defensive maestro would return to the hardwood in 2019-20 without question.

However, after another troubling training camp, and an NBA preseason that passed with no game action from Roberson that all too familiar doubt set in for everyone involved. About a month into the season OKC Thunder fans, and I am sure the organization as a whole, gave up on the possibility of Andre Roberson playing this season…and possibly ever again.

The now 28-year-old even left the team to go train in California on his own. This week though, he returned to the organization before Sunday’s matchup with the Spurs. He did not participate in the team’s Monday practice, but he did get some individual work in afterward. We also found out today Andre Roberson worked with a trainer who has helped Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s knee pain.

So for the OKC Thunder, what does this all mean? The mysterious case of Andre Roberson’s knee injury could be an amazing documentary one day. With so few updates, such little info leaking out, what is going on here? These last few hours have been the biggest flurry of news dumped out since the two-year-old-injury happened.

Now, Let me preface this next paragraph by saying Andre Roberson is a great guy. I, like literally everyone else, am rooting for his success and to get back on the floor as I am sure he wants to.

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However, some OKC Thunder fans on twitter are taking these updates a little too far. They are all going overboard with optimism and I can not blame them, that is part of being a fan. Let me offer some caution, though.

Andre Roberson is not going to return to the team this season. If he does though because we could play the what-if game all day long, he will not be some magical savior. He will not provide this great fix down the stretch run, he will not be a difference-maker, and he probably won’t be playable even if he is healthy.

Andre Roberson made his money on the defensive end of the floor. While he is an elite talent on that end, that is all he provides. His offensive game is dreadful, but he makes up for it by locking down the elite of the elite offensive players.

However, he probably will never reach that defensive level again in his entire career, certainly not in his first three-to-four months back if he magically did play for the Thunder down the stretch of this season.

If his defense suffers even a little bit, he becomes an unplayable player that does not produce anything for your team.

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What are your expectations for Andre Roberson?