OAKLAND — Warriors center Festus Ezeli has been out all year recovering from knee surgery, but could his season debut come in a potential Game 7 of the series against the Clippers?
“It’s coming,” Ezeli said Thursday after coach Mark Jackson ruled him out for Game 6. “I’ve just got to keep working, and it’s going to come. It’s going to come soon.
“Especially because I thought I was going to come back earlier in the season, so I’ve been mentally preparing. It’s just kind of worked out that rehab is longer than expected, but I’m staying positive, I’m staying focused. When the time comes, I’ll be ready.”
Ezeli, who underwent right knee surgery in June, said he is currently working out with “no limitations.” Jackson said he has yet to practice 5 on 5, but in the playoffs there have been few opportunities for those situations, according to Ezeli.
Ezeli said he was focused on strength and conditioning given that he has not played in so long that his body must become accustomed to cutting, posting up, rebounding and running so that he doesn’t get reinjured.
In ruling out Ezeli for Game 6, Jackson said, “I would say no, not tonight.”
To Ezeli, the next step is for the Warriors to clear him to play.
“At the end of the day, when I’m in a jersey is when I’ll play,” Ezeli said.
“The next step is to play.”