Auburn Hills — So far in the preseason, the Pistons haven’t played a game with their complete lineup — and with only three games remaining, they’re not looking much closer to being at full strength.
Two starters, Andre Drummond (conjunctivitis) and Reggie Jackson (groin) missed Friday’s second preseason game. After a day off Saturday, Drummond sat out again Sunday, but Jackson was a full participant in practice.
The training staff has been cautious with Jackson’s tendinitis as well as his minor groin soreness in the past week, but he’s inching closer to a return for Monday’s preseason matchup against the Indiana Pacers.
“I’ve said so many times that he would be (ready to go). Let’s wait until tomorrow and I’ll let you know,” coach Stan Van Gundy said. “He went through the whole practice and we went a lot of 5-on-5.”
Teammates and Van Gundy have said that Jackson has regained his explosion and first-step quickness in scrimmages, but they’ll continue to keep him on a minutes restriction until he gains his endurance and is pain-free.
Drummond appears to be more of a short-term concern. While the pink-eye issues remain, he’s being kept away from the practice court and is limited to conditioning workouts on the side while the rest of the team practices.
“Andre still can’t practice until the eye stops crusting over. He can’t put his contacts in right now,” Van Gundy said.
Reggie Bullock (knee) returned to practice Sunday. Avery Bradley tweaked his ankle, but Van Gundy doesn’t think it’s serious.