OKC Thunder's Andre Roberson could join list of great comebacks from injury
Andre Roberson returned to the court Friday, playing in the Thunder’s exhibition game against Boston. It was Roberson’s first competitive court action since January 27, 2018, when he suffered a torn patellar tendon.
The Thunder resumes NBA play next Saturday against Utah, and if Roberson plays, it would be 916 days between playing in games that count.
Here are some of the notable stretches between play for athletes who suffered major injuries:
Quincy Pondexter: The NBA wing played in a playoff game for New Orleans on April 25, 2015. Three knee surgeries and a life-threatening skin infection later, Pondexter returned on Oct. 19, 2017. That’s 908 days between games. Pondexter was out of the NBA this season.
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Alex Smith: The Washington Redskins quarterback suffered a broken tibia and fibula on Nov. 18, 2018. Infection quickly set in and Smith was in danger of losing his leg. Smith missed all of last season, but doctors two days ago cleared him to play this season. Dwayne Haskins has become the Washington starting quarterback, but if Smith plays in the Sept. 13 season opener, it would be 665 days between action.
Willis McGahee: The University of Miami running back suffered a catastrophic knee injury in his final collegiate game, the Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 3, 2003. McGahee entered the NFL Draft but missed all of the 2003 season. He debuted with the Buffalo Bills on Sept. 12, 2004, a span of 618 days, and had a solid NFL career.
Shaun Livingston: On Feb. 26, 2007, the LA Clipper point guard suffered a debilitating injury that damaged almost every part of his left knee. Amputation was a possibility. Livingston persevered and returned Oct. 29, 2008, with Miami, a span of 610 days. Livingston’s career sputtered but he eventually found a home as a rotational player on the Warriors’ championship teams.
Tony Conigliaro: The Boston Red Sox’ young slugger was hit by a pitch on Aug. 18, 1967, and suffered a linear cheekbone fracture and a dislocated jaw, with severe damage to his eye. Conigliaro, 22 at the time, already had hit 104 major league home runs. Conigliaro returned to the Red Sox for the April 8, 1969, season opener, a span of 600 days. Conigliaro hit 56 home runs the next two seasons combined but played just two years after that, 1971 and 1975.