It’s a peculiar injury, as an MRI revealed no structural damage to the right knee.
It felt like tendinitis, Huerter said, but that was ruled out. It was just discomfort, but that’s enough to cause problems, particularly at high speeds in a game.
Before any game activity, the key for Huerter was stringing together days of heavier practices without any setbacks, which he was able to accomplish this week.
“The last week has been pretty consistent which was what we’ve been seeking the whole preseason, was to get him in a steady rotation of days, and he finally got that this past week,” coach Lloyd Pierce said.
Before that, it was a lot of stop-and-start, per Huerter, as he could practice one day, feeling fine, then the next day it would start bothering him again.
“Even up until two, three weeks ago, there was days I felt really good, and I almost didn’t feel it, but you’d come in the next day, and I really couldn’t even practice,” Huerter said.
“So kind of a lot of times in the process it really felt like two steps forward, one step back, really kind of the whole way, and so for me, feeling this week, I was able to put multiple days together in a row.”
Huerter will have to get back into game shape, but the Hawks likely will ease him into that, beginning with the 15-minute restriction for Thursday’s game.
He’s not quite 100 percent yet, but the next step is evaluating how he handles game action, per Huerter.
“I’m not quite there yet, but part of the rehab process is getting in games and kind of feeling what it feels like at NBA game speed,” Huerter said. “So tonight’s another step toward that.”