Kenny Atkinson on D'Angelo Russell's Nets Return: A Collaborative Decision

BROOKLYN – D’Angelo Russell made another important step in his road to recovery by participating in a second practice with the Brooklyn Nets' G League affiliate, the Long Island Nets, on Monday.

Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson was happy with what he heard, but cautioned that he still doesn’t have a set timetable for the guard’s return to the court. Still, it does appear that it will be sooner than later.

“Tomorrow, what does it look like [after Monday’s practice],” Atkinson said. “Just getting feedback on where he is after a tough practice.”

He added, “We’ll evaluate depending on how the game is or where our schedule is. There is a scheduled practice [between the Spurs and Heat game], but I’ll be honest with you – a lot of times after a game is a recovery session. But like I’ve told you, we can use our roster and coaches. We can use our G League team to create a similar simulation of game situations.”

Despite those options, Atkinson did mention that he’d like to see Russell practicing with his teammates before he gets action in games.

“Yeah, I’d definitely like to see that but I also trust our staff,” he said. “So for me, I’d like to see him in some simulated game action but it’s also when the performance team comes to my office and the coaches [and gives an OK].

“Everything we do is collaborative and when we all come together and say this is the day, then we’ll go for it. Obviously, D’Angelo [also has a say]. That’s an important part of it, if he says ‘Hey man, I’m ready to go.” We’ll all sit in a room and decide what that looks like from the start.”