The Oregonian’s Jason Quick tweeted after the Blazers’ loss to Denver last night that Joel Przybilla announced that he will participate in full-contact drills for 45 minutes on Sunday.
There’s still no timeline for the injured center’s return to in-game action, but various Blazers staff and front office had previously hinted at a late-November/early-December target, and this news seems to suggest that Przybilla is ahead of schedule. This development comes as a surprise because not only did he rupture his patella tendon in a game against Dallas last December, but he re-injured the same knee falling down in the shower last spring before he had completely healed from his first surgery. To be honest, I had assumed his career was over and would solely exist as Raef LaFrentz 2.0, an expiring contract to dangle at the deadline. The fact that he’s apparently close to returning can’t be looked at as anything but encouraging for the team, especially given yesterday’s news that Jeff Pendergraph will be sidelined for the full season with a torn ACL. Przybilla coming back reasonably soon would be an extremely positive development for a squad still ultimately leaning on Greg Oden’s return to health.