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SAN FRANCISCO – Philadelphia 76ers guard Jason Richardson told Yahoo Sports he expects to return to the court in late January after being sidelined for nearly two years.
Richardson last played in game on Jan. 18, 2013, as a member of the Sixers before succumbing to knee and ankle problems. He had knee surgery last February. Richardson said he is two to three weeks from practicing and is currently running on the treadmill and doing light work on the floor, including shooting drills.
"It will mean a lot to come back," Richardson said after the Sixers' practice on Wednesday. "I thought I was done playing. I really did. But seeing my son play AAU over the summertime, seeing his love for the game, it made me get the love back for the game.
"My thing is to always walk away on my own terms. I understand that things happen. Me having this knee injury, fading away like that is not the way I wanted to go out. Retirement is three or four years away from now."
Richardson has averaged 17.5 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.7 assists over 12 NBA seasons. He is in the last year of his contract making a team-high $6.6 million for the young Sixers, who own an NBA-worst four wins. Richardson believes he can be a positive influence on his teammates.
"I just want to teach them the little tricks I know," Richardson said. "When I see something wrong, I can be a player-coach to these guys. Sometimes they might get tired of the coach and the assistants coaches. I am one of their peers, even though I am 10 [to] 12 years older than most of them.
"I am still one of their teammates and still respect the things that they have to say. I will tell them things that I wanted to hear when I was a young guy."
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