The Denver Nuggets website posted a discussion with JJ Hickson in regards to his recovery from ACL surgery. The story brings up a tweet that had projected Hickson’s return to come in January. The following is JJ Hickson’s response to the projected January return:
“That’s false, I’m looking to be ready for training camp. If not, definitely before the season starts.”
Wow! You have to love Hickson’s ambition but those words are just that, ambitious. His knee surgery was March 25. The 2014-15 season is slated to begin October 28. That’s 7 months to recover from a surgery that, as the article stated, “Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose needed 18 months.”
As the Denver Nuggets roster is currently situated, JJ Hickson is likely not a starter. The center position should hopefully feature the return of a healthy JaVale McGee. It was the loss of McGee 5 games into the season that gave Hickson so many minutes last season. With the strides taken by Timmy Mozgov last season — going from coining the phrase “Mozgov’d” to allowing us to forget he earned the starting job at center somewhat by default — ratcheting Hickson down to 3rd string really is not a viable train of thought.
All of which puts Coach Brian Shaw back in his original pickle, rotating Faried and Hickson at the 4. With Darrell Arthur also in the mix, JJ Hickson will be allowed to be gingerly worked back into increased minutes. The problem with that theory, though, is if Hickson is going gangbusters to recover from surgery months sooner than fans expect, he likely is not interested in being gingerly worked back into the lineup.
I hope JJ Hickson lives up to his own expectations and is able to participate in training camp. I also hope Brian Shaw can find a better way to handle his rotations.