Aleksej Pokusevski sees first game action since December

Aleksej Pokusevski #17 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Aleksej Pokusevski #17 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

The Oklahoma City Thunder have been forced to play without Aleksej Pokusevski since December 27th, when he went down with a leg injury less than two minutes into their contest against the San Antonio Spurs.

Aleksej Pokusevski was sidelined with a non-displaced tibial plateau fracture in his left leg. Pokusevski had a reevaluation date set for six-to-eight weeks at the point of the initial injury.

This injury came during the best stretch of NBA basketball in Aleksej Pokusevski’s young career. He realized the potential that Sam Presti and Mark Daigneault saw in him for a breakout campaign in year three this fall.

On March 6th, the Oklahoma City Thunder assigned their former first-round pick to their NBA G-League Affiliate, the OKC Blue, but at the time, it was only to get more practice time. However, Aleksej Pokusevski is taking the next step in his return to play program and playing in-game action for the OKC Blue.

The Oklahoma City Thunder assigned Aleksej Pokusevski to the OKC Blue; he returns to game action for the first time since December.

The Paycom Center had a different buzz for the OKC Blue’s home finale, as Aleksej Pokusevski returned to the hardwood for his first game action since December. The 21-year-old big man played in seven first-quarter minutes and was able to rack up four assists and three rebounds in that span.

Aleksej Pokusevski was moving extremely well, especially given the injury he is coming back from. Pokusevski was grabbing rebounds and going coast-to-coast, including a physical box out that tested his body early in the game.

One thing is for sure, Poku still has his passing prowess, and he started his night with an eye-popping behind-the-back dime to energize the Blue’s second unit.

Aleksej Pokusevski returned to the floor at the 5:21 mark in the third quarter. Despite the long layoff in minutes, Pokusevski continued to move well up and down the floor.

The forward then earned his fifth assist when he found legendary OKC Thunder defensive stopper Andre Roberson cutting to the rim. Pokusevski finished his night with 15 minutes played, no points, Seven rebounds, Six assists, and two blocks.

This was the final game for the OKC Blue at home, and the squad only plays in three more contests the rest of the year, with the shortest trip being down to Frisco, Texas, on Sunday. Short of that quick trip, this could be the final time Pokusevski appears for the Blue in-game action.

On the other hand, the Thunder still have 13 (12 if you factor in Pokusevski is not on the trip to Toronto for Thursday’s game) games left in the regular season. With the way he looked in tonight’s Blue contest, I would not be surprised to see him return to the NBA squad this season.

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