Houston Rockets head coach Stephen Silas on Tuesday said rookie Jalen Green is improving from a strained left hamstring but would not commit to a return date for the second overall pick.
Green, who has missed the last five games, suffered the injury on Nov. 24 in a win over the Chicago Bulls. He injured himself on a drive to the basket and was slow to get up. He eventually shot his two free throws and went straight to the locker room.
The Rockets initially said Green would be evaluated on a week-by-week basis. He was spotted during practice on Tuesday going through a rigorous set of shooting drills with assistant coach John Lucas but that is about all he has been cleared to do to this point.
“Jalen is progressing,” Silas said, via Brian Barefield of Rockets Wire. “Obviously, he is out shooting right now, basically just spot shots, but moving along.”
Silas said over the weekend that Green would not play anytime soon and is itching to get back onto the court. The team is going to be cautious with the injury and not rush him back into action too quickly this early into the season with over half the schedule still to go.
Green is off to a strong start with the Rockets, averaging 14 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 18 games. He was nominated for Western Conference Rookie of the Month and ranks third in scoring average among all first-year players, fifth in minutes and sixth in field goals.
Houston has posted six consecutive wins since Green was initially injured. They have the longest winning streak in the NBA and have received strong contributions from several players in that span, including Christian Wood, Eric Gordon and Jae’Sean Tate among others.
The team knows Green wants to return, but it will not rush him back into action too quickly. The NBA season is 82 games, and the Rockets do not want him to suffer a setback in December by rushing him back a week or two too early.
This post originally appeared on Rookie Wire! Follow us on Facebook!