NEW ORLEANS – Phoenix Suns star Devin Booker returns for his team’s game 6 against the New Orleans Pelicans on Thursday night after missing the last three games with a tense right hind thigh, Suns coach Monty Williams said.
Booker was officially upgraded to questionable shortly before the match and had been expected to test his leg in the warm-up before the match before getting OK. Williams said he had made good progress in recent days as the Suns took a 3-2 league lead.
“It’s hard at this time of year to emulate an NBA game,” Williams said of what led to Booker’s return. “He’s been on the floor with (Suns assistant coach) Jarrett Jack a few times. And he’s done the best he can to get there.”
Williams was asked if Suns would monitor Booker’s minutes tonight, and he just smiled and said, “Yes,” adding that Booker’s return gives Suns “list balance.”
“It helps in a way to determine the order of the team a little bit, relatively speaking,” Williams said. “He will not play his normal workload of 36, 38, 40, but it still gives you a little more balance.”
Booker scored 25 points in the Suns’ Game 1 win and then had 31 points in the first half of Game 2 before incurring the injury in the third quarter and leaving the final loss.
ESPN’s Andrew Lopez contributed to this report.