Pistons' Jackson still weeks away from returning

Rod Beard
The Detroit News
Reggie Jackson

Los Angeles — Even though Reggie Jackson has been through the process, it doesn’t make the second time any easier.

After more than a month of recovering from a procedure to inject platelet-rich plasma into his right thumb and left knee, he’s itching to get back on the court. It’s not quite the same as his previous experience, during his rookie season in 2011, when the NBA lockout meant he didn’t have to rush to get back to playing shape.

But now, the Pistons are navigating through a difficult part of the schedule and Jackson, who missed almost all of training camp, is getting back to limited basketball activities, four weeks after the procedure.

Before Monday’s game against the Clippers at Staples Center, Jackson got some court time, put up a couple shots and said he’s progressing.

“It felt good to be out on the court again; I haven’t been for five weeks and even when I snuck on there to get a layup or two, they kicked me off immediately,” Jackson said. “It’s feeling good just to touch a ball and happy to get some shots up, but it’s still not the real thing, so I’m just trying to get geared up toward that and get back as soon as possible.”

The next steps for Jackson will be to continue ramping up workouts and get more comfortable with how the knee feels. He said there’s not much pain, but just getting the feeling back and trusting it with quick movements could be a challenge.

“It feels like literally I had dead leg for five weeks,” Jackson said. “I’m just trying to find trust in my leg to be able to cut. It’s not there yet; I did a few things but it’s still iffy.”

The original timeline of 6-8 weeks seems to be in play.

“I don’t think it’s ever going to be 100 percent but it’s better than what it was,” Jackson said. “I’m happy about that and optimistic. Just trying to get better and hopefully get back as soon as possible.

“It’s not too much pain; imagine feeling like your leg is amputated and then it got put back on. I’m trying to go ahead and figure it out. I don’t trust it; I don’t know what I’m capable of.”

The Pistons (4-3) have missed Jackson’s play on the pick-and-roll with center Andre Drummond, but Ish Smith has been a capable backup, averaging 6.9 assists.



Pistons at Suns

Tip-off: 9 tonight, Talking Stick Resort Arena, Phoenix

TV/radio: FSD/WMGC

Outlook: The Pistons are allowing 111 points in three road games — all losses — with an average margin of 19 points. ... After an 0-4 start, the Suns have won two of their last three games.