Billy Donovan: "We'll Have to See" About Andre Roberson
Will Andre Roberson be on the court when the season restarts? "I think we'll have to see."
That was Billy Donovan's answer to Erik Horne's question on Saturday when he was asked if Roberson would play. Roberson has participated in two practices since the Thunder arrived in Orlando, and according to Donovan, he has gone through "everything."
And while Roberson's work ethic inspires his teammates, it doesn't guarantee him minutes. Donovan says, "I'm encouraged with what he's done here the first two days."
"I'm hopeful for him because it's been a long haul."...."He's really worked hard to try and get himself in a position to play."
"Today [Saturday] was the second day he went through everything the team went through, and it's good to have him out there on the court." Roberson's attempts to come back and the setbacks that followed have been well documented, but for the first time since being injured over two years ago, there seemed to be tangible hope he could play.
Sam Presti's comments a few weeks ago suggested Roberson could be getting close.
There was also the Buffs TV interview where Roberson said, "there is light at the end of the tunnel." Compare that to when I spoke with Roberson at media day when he wouldn't put a percentage on how healthy he was going into the season, and you had reason to believe maybe things were looking up for Thunder stopper.
If you want to feel more positive about Roberson, It's worth taking into account he made the trip to Disney. If the Thunder didn't think he could help the team in some capacity, they would have left him at home.
The health risk wouldn't have been worth it, and if he's only playing in emergencies, that's something. Donovan wasn't all doom and gloom for Roberson's hopes, however.
He did say Lu Dort was not guaranteed his starting spot when the season resumes, and he wants to use the next few weeks to keep all of his players engaged because he doesn't know how life in the bubble will affect them. Donovan is planning on going deep into his bench, and if needed, Roberson will gladly answer the call.
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With more than 20 years of experience hosting local and national radio shows, Erik Gee is a fixture of Oklahoma sports media. He has covered the Oklahoma City Thunder for the past six seasons. He is also the co-host of the Pat Jones show on 97.1 The Sports Animal in Tulsa.