Defensive specialist Roberson practices with Thunder for 1st time this season
Christian Petersen / Getty Images Sport / Getty

For the first time in almost a year, Oklahoma City Thunder wing Andre Roberson took the floor with his teammates, joining them for a Friday workout in the NBA bubble in Orlando.

"He looked really, really good in terms of the way he was moving," head coach Billy Donovan said Friday, according to ESPN's Royce Young. "It was great to see him out there. I was really happy for him.

"But like we've talked about in the past, we'll see how he can continue to build up and develop here over the next week, but he was out there today and he participated in everything."

Though Roberson averaged just 4.6 points and four rebounds through his first five seasons from 2013-18, he also emerged as one of the league's premier defenders, earning All-Defensive second-team honors in 2016-17. But the wing has been sidelined from game action since suffering a ruptured patellar tendon in his left knee on Jan. 27, 2018.

A number of setbacks kept the 28-year-old on the periphery while the Thunder underwent a tremendous overhaul; the team has shifted from a roster built around Russell Westbrook, Paul George, Carmelo Anthony, and Steven Adams in 2017-18 to one starring Chris Paul, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Danilo Gallinari, Dennis Schroder, and Adams this season.

"Man, it's the best thing ever," Paul said of Roberson's return to the floor. "I used to have to fry 'Dre back in the day when I was on another team and he was the stopper for the Thunder."

Paul added: "He's had some of the toughest times that people wouldn't even know. Unbelievably happy to see him out there playing and practicing."

The Thunder will play scrimmages against the Boston Celtics on July 24, the Philadelphia 76ers on July 26, and the Portland Trail Blazers on July 28 before their regular-season schedule resumes on Aug. 1. Those tilts could give Roberson his first competitive game action in over two-and-a-half years.

Comments
Defensive specialist Roberson practices with Thunder for 1st time this season
  Got something to say? Leave a comment below!
Daily Newsletter
Get the latest trending sports news daily in your inbox