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Thunder injury update: Andre Roberson progressing, Nerlens Noel limited

Thunder coach Billy Donovan said he was encouraged that guard Andre Roberson was a full participant Sunday in what Donovan described as a "really, really physical" day of practice. 

"Is he at the level he was defensively before the injury? No. But can he get there? I believe so," Donovan said. "You can see when he's out there he understands when to switch, he understands positioning, he understands things that are happening before they happen. He is still very disruptive in practice. I think the more we have these kinds of practices, the more it's gonna help him." 

The Thunder has practiced nine out of the last 10 days at Disney World. Donovan has given positive updates on Roberson's progress after each practice, but Roberson's availability for the Thunder's Aug. 1 game against the Jazz is still unknown. 

Roberson hasn't played since rupturing the patellar tendon in his left knee 30 months ago. 

"I still think he's got a little bit ways to go offensively, in terms of the things that he was doing," Donovan said. "If you go back to when he was playing, the team is drastically different ... I think he's got to get accustomed to playing with other guys." 

Backup center Nerlens Noel remained limited in practice Sunday. Noel is recovering from what Donovan described as a "tweaked ankle." 

"We held him out from the contact stuff," Donovan said. "The non-contact stuff he's able to do. Like I said yesterday, I think we're being certainly over cautious because we don't really have a lot of time here. Certainly his health is the most important thing, so we'd rather get him back feeling really, really good before we throw him back into practice." 

Related Photos
Oklahoma City's Andre Roberson (21) shoots baskets during warm ups before the preseason NBA game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Dallas Mavericks at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Okla. , Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]

Oklahoma City's Andre Roberson (21) shoots baskets during warm ups before the preseason NBA game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Dallas Mavericks at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Okla. , Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-11b9eb333cefe48e97ea1c5657dbc44e.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City's Andre Roberson (21) shoots baskets during warm ups before the preseason NBA game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Dallas Mavericks at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Okla. , Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman] " title="Oklahoma City's Andre Roberson (21) shoots baskets during warm ups before the preseason NBA game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Dallas Mavericks at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Okla. , Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>Oklahoma City's Andre Roberson (21) shoots baskets during warm ups before the preseason NBA game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Dallas Mavericks at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Okla. , Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-9ca161fde42f6fffd814553dd235927c.jpg" alt="Photo - LA's Kawhi Leonard (2) goes past Oklahoma City's Nerlens Noel (9) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Los Angeles Clippers at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, March 3, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] " title="LA's Kawhi Leonard (2) goes past Oklahoma City's Nerlens Noel (9) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Los Angeles Clippers at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, March 3, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>LA's Kawhi Leonard (2) goes past Oklahoma City's Nerlens Noel (9) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Los Angeles Clippers at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, March 3, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure>
Joe Mussatto

Joe Mussatto joined The Oklahoman in August 2018 to cover OU football, men’s basketball and softball. He previously covered University of Kentucky football and basketball for SEC Country. Mussatto is from Oklahoma City and lives in Norman. Read more ›

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