Already approaching a year since his second ACL tear, Jabari Parker is on track to return to the floor for the Milwaukee Bucks.
After being drafted second overall in 2014, Jabari Parker’s rookie season was limited to 25 games by a torn left ACL. He played 76 games the following season, with solid numbers (14.1 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game) and a strong finish (18.9 points per game after the All-Star break). But it took being a little further removed from his injury for Parker to really begin to take off.
Parker emerged as a worthy second fiddle to Giannis Antetokounmpo last season, averaging 20.1 points and 6.2 rebounds per game with a 56.3 True Shooting Percentage. But he tore his left ACL again on Feb. 8, of course missed the rest of the season, and has been working his way back.
In late September, Parker said he was planning to return to the floor in February with some indication he was a little ahead of schedule. Optimism reigned again in mid-November, with Gery Woelfel of The Journal Times passing along word from team officials that Parker could play in games.
Somewhere around the All-Star break in February, one year from when he was injured, has always been the target for Parker to return to action. With that time fast approaching, the plan seems set to come to fruition.
The Bucks are 15-11 entering Friday night’s game against the Chicago Bulls, which is good for fourth place in the Eastern Conference. So they are in a solid position right now, even without being regarded as a serious contender to dethrone the Cleveland Cavaliers in the East.
But adding Parker, even in a limited role at first, should provide a nice spark to what has been a middle of the pack offense thus far (104 points per game; 18th in the league entering Friday). At the point on the schedule he’s on track to return, plugging Parker back in may have the feel of a trade acquisition for the Bucks and coach Jason Kidd.