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Warriors’ Festus Ezeli cleared to play, improving his explosiveness, expects return to action in Las Vegas

SANTA ROSA — Warriors center Festus Ezeli said Monday he has been cleared to play after spending all of this season recovering from right knee surgery and that he expected to be in action at the Las Vegas Summer League next month.

“They think it’s a good idea, so I probably will,” Ezeli said of the Warriors at the team’s basketball camp for children at Sonoma Day Country School.

“Just go to Vegas, get some touches and get my rhythm back. Just get back to playing. Get back to being comfortable on the court.”

The 6-foot-11 Ezeli would join a summer league team that’s expected to include Ognjen Kuzmic and Nemanja Nedovic. He said he has played pickup games in the Sacramento area since the end of the season and noticed an improvement in one particular area since he was sidelined throughout the playoffs.

“Explosiveness,” he said. “I’m getting it back. I’m actually trying to add more to it.”

This week marks the one-year anniversary of offseason surgery reinforce both the MCL and PCL in his knee that was sprained during the Warriors’ regular-season finale in 2013. The team’s medical staff at that time estimated a recovery of at least six to nine months, but Ezeli was ultimately lost for this season coming off his rookie year.

A Warriors first-round draft pick in 2012, Ezeli averaged 2.4 points, 4 rebounds and nearly 1 block while playing in 78 games and starting 41 of them. He recently met with new coach Steve Kerr.

“He knows what I bring to the table, and he’s excited to coach me,” Ezeli said. “I’m excited for a new year to actually finally be playing. It’s going to be fun.

“We’ve got to buy into Steve Kerr because we all want to win, so I know we’ll all do that.”

Diamond Leung