Although there had been hope that Portland Trail Blazers guard Gary Payton II (abdomen) would return to action soon, it appears he is still weeks away.
According to an NBA.com report, Payton is experiencing soreness and has yet to be a full participant in team practice.
PORTLAND, Ore. (November 18, 2022) – Portland Trail Blazers guard Gary Payton II continues to recover from an off-season procedure to address a core muscle injury.
Throughout progressive levels of rehab in preparation to return to game play, Payton has experienced intermittent soreness. He will continue rehab in anticipation of returning to full practice and will be re-evaluated in two weeks.
This means that we likely will not see the defensive stalwart in action until at least December. Previous indications had been that he was edging closer to a return. While still true, progression has been slow.
Payton, who signed a three-year, $28 million deal with the Blazers this offseason, is expected to help transform Portland’s defense in the second unit.
Payton, the son of NBA Hall-of-Fame point guard Gary Payton, is 29-years-old and has spent six seasons in the NBA. He’s played with the Milwaukee Bucks, Washington Wizards, and Los Angeles Lakers in addition to the Warriors. He averaged 7.1 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 1.4 steals in 17.6 minutes per game over 71 appearances with the Warriors last season, including 16 starts. He shot 61.6 percent from the field in 4.8 attempts per game, 35.8 percent from the three-point arc. He upped those percentages to 65.9 and 53.3 in 12 playoffs games on the way to Golden State’s championship. The title capped the first playoff run of Payton’s career.
Hopefully Payton’s return will be the start of another deep playoff run, this time for the Blazers.