Storyline: Reggie Jackson Injury

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The Detroit Pistons start training camp in two weeks. And Reggie Jackson, seeking a bounce-back season after struggling with left knee tendinitis, is on track to be on the floor when the team begins the earnest work of preparing to make the inaugural season at Little Caesars Arena a successful one. Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy told the Free Press on Monday morning that after an examination last week, Jackson has increased basketball activity and will arrive at the practice facility later this week to join teammates.

“I blame myself for that, a little bit, that we didn’t take care of this a little bit earlier. But it’s nothing he would’ve asked to do. He had some very good games, some very good fourth quarters. But I don’t think he ever got to a point where he felt like him himself. This is just the start of a long off-season of getting himself to not only get physically right but to mentally recharge, take the learning experiences from this season and come back better than ever. He’ll be 27 years old next year, so he’s coming into his prime, not going out of it.”

Tyzzar (@WorldWideTy2332): Any further update on Reggie Jackson’s return date? Langlois: He indicated Monday that he’d probably need at least one more practice session with the team and that might force Van Gundy to do something he – and pretty much every coach – rarely does: practice on Thursday after a back-to-back set at Charlotte and Boston. It wouldn’t be a typical practice, but it has to be something that comes close to approximating an NBA game – some semblance of full-court, five-on-five basketball. He’s been fully cleared medically to participate in everything the Pistons are doing in practice, so it’s no longer a case of physical limitations from his Oct. 10 platelet-rich plasma injection in his left knee. It’s a case now of Jackson feeling confident in the stability of the knee, feeling he’s knocked off sufficient rust and feeling like his conditioning is at an acceptable level if less than optimal.

Stan Van Gundy confirmed pregame Monday starting point guard Reggie Jackson has been cleared for contact drills in practice and could begin those as soon as Tuesday. “How much, I don’t know,” Van Gundy said. “But that he’ll be able to do some. And quite honestly, (it) will be a lot like last year when Brandon (Jennings) was coming back. You sort of structure your practice around those guys when they’re coming back.” Jackson has been rehabbing his left knee since Oct. 10, when he had plasma injection therapy to treat tendinitis.

Twenty-four hours later, sporting those same crutches and a glove on his right hand, he was back watching his teammates practice. “To find out the diagnostics and settle down and figure out what the procedure was going to be, that was the hard part,” Jackson said. “Now that I got the procedure, it was like a burden was let off. It was kind of a sigh of relief.” A relief, Jackson says, because he could have played through it. He has in the past — tendinitis goes back to his days at Boston College — but admits it would have impacted his minutes and likely his production on the court.

Before the Pistons’ preseason loss in Brooklyn on Thursday, Van Gundy said that, even if Jackson was healthy, he would have liked to reduced his team’s dependence on its point guard. “He’ll bring the ball up every time and will still run, probably, more pick-and-rolls than anybody in the league,” Van Gundy said. “But yeah, I would like to diversify our offense a little bit. And obviously, his time out will force us to do that. So, long run, that could be a good thing.” It doesn’t mean that Caldwell-Pope or any of the Pistons’ other wings are going to start running pick-and-rolls themselves. Instead, we’ll see a heavier dose of other actions.

Stan Van Gundy seems to have found one when it comes to the timetable for Jackson’s absence. “Four weeks, six weeks, eight weeks, whatever it is — three of those weeks are right now in the preseason,” Van Gundy said. “That’s – in the year – 10 games. If this happened in November, that’s 10 more regular season games. So there are … it’s not a great situation, but it’s not the worst, either.” Should Jackson miss as many as eight weeks, a return to the court would happen no later than by the end of November. The regular season starts Oct. 26, in Toronto.

Jackson sat out Tuesday’s practice and has been limited to one practice per day during training camp while he deals with a flareup of tendinitis in his left knee. The Pistons and Jackson have said he’s been managing it for years, going back to his days in Oklahoma City. “He’s had this since he came back in September,” Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy said on Tuesday. “We’ve got further evaluation going on with what’s going to happen to him. So yeah, we’ll have to see how long and everything else.”

Reggie Jackson has been battling though dehydration and exhaustion and remained in a Toronto medical facility, having fluids administered and blood tests done, while the team traveled here late Saturday for a game tonight against the Brooklyn Nets. Jackson came to New York on Sunday and went through morning shootaround, though he acknowledged this is not the first time he has endured the issue, which he said, “feels like my body’s overheating and freezing at the same time, as well as queasy.”
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