Brooklyn Nets' D'Angelo Russell Excited After Practice With Long Island Nets

BROOKLYN – D’Angelo Russell practiced with the Long Island Nets at Barclays Center on Monday, signaling an important step forward in his recovery from left knee surgery.

Russell hasn’t played with the Nets since Nov. 11 and the guard was happy to finally get back into competition, training with Brooklyn’s G League affiliate.

“I’ve been out for a while so just getting out there with the G League team, they were amazing. They were going full [force], 100 MPH,” Russell said prior to the Raptors game. “Just getting that sweat again was what I was looking for.”

Russell admitted it was difficult to watch his teammates from sideline and not be a part of the action, but he’s impressed with hard they’ve played in his absence. He also drawn some positives out of the fact that he’s been able to learn more about Kenny Atkinson’s system in observing the coach from the sidelines.

“Seeing it from a different angle, from a different point of view. Watching film, seeing it from a different angle,” Russell explained. “Getting to see everyone and what they do, their strengths and weaknesses – as a point guard that’s a great tool to have out there.”

Atkinson wouldn’t put a timetable on when Russell will return to action for the team, but he was encouraged by what he saw from the 21-year-old.

“It’s tough to map it out that far ahead. I think one step at a time. He had a great practice with the G League team today and evaluate further tomorrow, then hopefully build on that,” Atkinson said.

Russell also insists he isn’t sure when he will get back into the fold, saying he’s relying on the Nets’ performance team to determine that.

“It’s really going with the performance team. They know better than I would know,” he said. “Of course I’m going to say I could go, but everyone has to be pushed and criteria has to meet before I’m out there. So we’ll take it day by day.”

Russell averaged 20.9 points, 5.7 assists and 4.7 assists in 12 games before his injury.