Paul George underwent surgery on both his shoulders after the Thunder’s 2019 season ended. These surgeries and the associated rehab were expected to keep George out for some undetermined time into the 2020 NBA regular season — it has been considered unlikely that he will be ready for opening night. However, there has been a new development on this front. To be specific, George posted an image of himself on Instagram working out on a basketball court.
To be clear, there has been no actual update on George’s timeline. Nor, in fact, do we know what exactly he was doing on that court. There’s a huge difference between some ball-handling and light shooting drills and going through a full contact practice. Judging by the time of his surgery, it would make sense that this was just some ball-handling to get back into some rhythm and into shape.
If that’s the case, George’s return might still not be any time soon. As someone who has had labrum surgery, I know that the stretch from getting some shots up and going through full basketball scrimmages is a massive one. Even if George is cleared to shoot, he might not be cleared to practice for another month, or more. Still, there’s no doubt that this is a good sign - George’s shoulder is apparently feeling well, and he’s gotten far enough into rehab to assume at least some basketball activities.
The Clippers’ training camp is under a month away, so George still has some time to recover before that. Even if he can’t fully participate in camp or preseason, his ability to at least get some work in is important, and bodes well for his return well before the six week mark that was rumored a couple months ago. Now, all Clippers’ fans can do is stay tuned to George’s Instagram page, and pray that he doesn’t suffer a setback.