Back at the beginning of Thunder training camp Andre Roberson said he felt "great" after the first couple of practices. So good in fact he was hoping to play in OKC's first game. Not the first game of the regular season but the first game of pre-season.
Of course that didn't happen and Roberson hasn't been in a game yet. Now comes word that he will continue his knee rehab away from the team in the Los Angeles area and there is no timetable set for his return.
"He can't get himself back to play, and he just wants to try some other avenues to try to get himself back to play," head coach Billy Donovan told reporters after Tuesday's practice. "He's gotten to a point, and he can't get past that point."
Donovan wouldn't say Roberson was suffering from "pain" in his left knee but did say "he's got discomfort there, I would think that's probably a fair word and discomfort to the point that he doesn't feel like he can go out there and play."
Donovan said the problem isn't severe enough that's it's been preventing Roberson from practicing in certain drills but the coach admitted Roberson has not been in full contact scrimmages and the discomfort "is holding him back from being able to do the things that he knows he has to do on the floor to be a productive player."
So now Roberson will change things up hoping to find a solution. Thunder team officials say he will continue to be in contact with the Thunder medical staff and with the front office but there is no timetable for his return to the squad.
It is a heartbreaking situation for a player who'd been getting a lot of buzz as a strong candidate for defensive player of the year when he was injured in January of 2018.
Longtime teammate Steven Adams was blunt in his assessment of what's happened.
"It's probably pretty s--t to be in that situation mate. He wants to come out here and play and there's another one of these setbacks you know. I mean it's quite frustrating for him...it's frustrating for all of us you know. Obviously we all support him but damn man, it's just so unlucky."
Roberson is in the last year of a 3-year, $30 million contract and so it appears increasingly likely he has played his last game for the Thunder and perhaps even of his NBA career.
Roberson is one of the hardest working and most likable players on the Thunder roster we can only hope he is able to find his way back.
More about all this in today's Thunder Game Report and you can hear the full media sessions with both Billy Donovan and Steven Adams in the blocks below.