PHILADELPHIA — The Philadelphia 76ers will be without De’Anthony Melton on Monday against the Houston Rockets due to the lumbar spine injury that recently flared up again.
Melton missed three games due to the injury and returned to play in two games. Now, he is back on the sidelines, and coach Nick Nurse wants to take the long-term approach when it comes to his versatile guard.
“So the De’Anthony thing — listen, you guys know he played and he was OK,” said Nurse on Monday. “He could’ve continued playing. This is more of a he wasn’t quite as effective or mobile as we liked and then we think it’s something we can fix for a little bit better longer-term return.”
To Nurse’s point, there is not much reason for the Sixers to push Melton especially in January. They want him fully healthy for April and May. So while he could play now, the Sixers want to make sure he will be able to play to his usual high standards in the long term.
“There’s a little issue there that he could play,” Nurse continued. “Probably not 100%. Probably not that close to that, but he could be out there. He probably wouldn’t hurt it anymore. All that kind of stuff, but they think they can fix it to where he’s gonna get back to 100% and, longer term, we think that’s the smart thing to do.”
There is no timeline for his return. It could be a couple of days or it could be a couple of weeks or a month. This will be a fluid situation.
“I think that — I’m just gonna throw one out there now,” Nurse finished. “At least, I think, a week. At least a week and we’ll go from there.”