Just 12 days after suffering a torn right hip flexor that was expected to end his season, All-Star forward David Lee has been cleared to play in Game 6 of the Golden State Warriors' first-round series against the Denver Nuggets at Oracle Arena in Oakland on Thursday.
Jeff Goodman of CBSSports.com broke the news, citing a source who said Lee "has been cleared and could play limited minutes Thursday night in Game 6 despite the injury." David Aldridge of NBA.com followed shortly thereafter with report that Lee would "give it a go" despite the injury. The Warriors later eliminated all suspense, posting a video of the team running out of the tunnel "led by an activated @DLee042." The 30-year-old big man will reportedly not start, but is available for Golden State coach Mark Jackson off the bench.
Lee suffered his injury early in the fourth quarter of the Warriors' Game 1 loss to the Nuggets. He scored 10 points on 4 for 14 shooting, grabbed 14 rebounds, dished two assists and blocked one shot in 29 minutes before the injury. After an MRI, the Warriors announced the next day that Lee would "miss the remainder of the 2013 NBA Playoffs due to a complete tear of his right hip flexor." This, it appears, was too pessimistic a view.
The Warriors lead the best-of-seven series 3-2, and are looking to close the third-seeded Nuggets out on Thursday to advance to the second round of the postseason for the first time since the 2006-07 season.