Thunder F Darius Miller practiced Thursday with no restrictions

Logan Newman
·2 min read

It sounds like Oklahoma City Thunder small forward Darius Miller is nearing his return to the court, though he might not be ready for the game on Saturday.

Miller, acquired from the New Orleans Pelicans as part of the Steven Adams trade, ruptured his right Achilles tendon and underwent surgery in August 2019. He did not play last season.

Head coach Mark Daigneault made it sound as though Miller would not have been available Wednesday had the game against the Houston Rockets taken place, but Miller is practicing in full.

On Tuesday, Daigneault said the 30-year-old was cleared physically but is still working back to game action on an individual plan. On Thursday, Daigneault said Miller did not face any restrictions in what was a physical practice for the team.

“He practiced again today, he’s just on kind of a physical return-to-play protocol,” Daigneault said. “There’s nothing prohibiting him from practicing or playing, it’s just he’s on a plan right now that we’ve worked on with our medical staff. We’re not going to skip steps.”

Miller was not listed on the injury report Wednesday morning, but that can be taken with a grain of salt because he missed all three preseason games despite the DNP being listed as a coach’s decision, not an injury.

Miller entered the league in 2012 and played in Germany from 2015-17 before signing with the Pelicans for a second stint. He is a career 38% shooter from behind the arc on 3.4 attempts per game.

Once he steps into game action, he can provide some much-needed shooting to a Thunder team that has lacked a consistent threat from deep in recent years.

If he shows he has returned to his form from the 2018-19 season, he could also be a trade target at the deadline for teams competing for the playoffs.

Miller has one year for $7 million remaining on his contract.

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