Czerwonka: Kelly Oubre Jr.’s amazing comeback

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Kelly Oubre Jr. graphic. - Multimedia Editor / Drew Peltzman

Just a few weeks ago, Kelly Oubre Jr. suffered a horrible rib fracture along with other injuries on Nov. 11, after he was hit by a vehicle while walking near his Philadelphia residence. 

In the offseason, Oubre joined the Sixers on a one-year veteran-minimum contract. Before the injury, Oubre played some of his best and most efficient basketball at the start of the season, averaging 16.2 points and 5 rebounds on 50/37/78 shooting splits. He even had a game in which he shot 9/11 from the field and 5/6 from three. It’s clear that the Sixers need him back as well. Before the injury, they had a 7-1 record and were at the top of the Eastern Conference. Since then, they’ve gone 5-6 and sunk to the 4 seed.

However, at the time of the injury, it was unclear when he could return. Originally, Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that Oubre had an “assortment of bruises and cuts to his body” along with fractured ribs. He was reportedly out indefinitely, and many thought he wouldn’t see the court for a few months. 

In the next game, which was against the Pacers, Sixers fans at Wells Fargo Center made sure to send the 27-year-old Kansas product love. They made signs saying, “Get Well Soon Kelly Oubre” as well as other signs to show their support. The team also made sure to win that game, as they defeated the Pacers 137-126. 

Over the course of the past few weeks, Oubre has been progressing quicker than reporters and many others thought. Following the win over the Pacers, in just a few days, he was able to watch the team practice. Last Monday, Nurse stated that he was just “waiting for (the medical staff) to tell me he’s ready to go.” Just this past Tuesday, according to Nick Nurse, the forward was “in portions of practice”. 

To add on even further, the Sixers took flight for a two-game road trip, one in New Orleans and the other in Boston. On that road trip, Oubre joined the team and continued to ramp up his conditioning to get back on the court. On Wednesday, Nurse said that Oubre might have been able to return for Friday’s game against the Celtics. As Nurse stated, “Now there’s some conditioning work that needs to be done, on top of just seeing what he can handle contact-wise”. 

As of Thursday, The Athletics’ Shams Charania reported that Kelly Oubre is “targeting a return to action next week,” which includes potential return dates such as a game against the Washington Wizards on Wednesday, and Friday at the Wells Fargo Center, versus the Hawks. I think I speak for every fan when I say that I am excited for Kelly Oubre’s return, and grateful that a projected months-long injury has resolved in a few weeks.

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