AUBURN HILLS, Mich. – The Detroit Pistons announced today that Brandon Jennings has been cleared by doctors to continue a steady progression of basketball related rehabilitation activities geared towards a return to the basketball court. That progression will consist of strength work, conditioning and cardiovascular exercises, basketball related activities and finally a return to team practices and full-contact related drills.
No timetable has been established for his return and we will continue to provide updates as appropriate.
Jennings suffered a ruptured left Achilles tendon during the January 24 contest at Milwaukee and missed the remainder of last season.
So that's good news, at least it means there was no setback. And to ensure no setbacks, Jennings is taking advice from Kobe Bryant.
Bryant told Jennings not to rush the injury and come back only if he feels ready.
The one setback Jennings will have to withstand has to do with who helps him rehab. As you know, Arnie Kander left the Pistons and has since joined the Minnesota Timberwolves. When Jonas Jerebko suffered his Achilles tear, Kander had Jonas move in with him (who wouldn't!?!?!) to monitor his rehab. Although Jennings did not move in with Kander, he was helping with Jennings' rehabilitation.
Jennings admitted that the Pistons parting company with former physical therapist Arnie Kander, "had a lot of impact because I was with Arnie every day for like two months straight."
This time has not been easy on Jennings. Not only is he not able to play basketball (which, for anyone who loves to play the game knows, is extremely difficult), but he also watched quite a few people get paid this summer. He is coming into the last year of his three-year contract and how much he makes next summer will depend on how well he plays after such a nasty injury. Obviously, the sooner he can get back on the court, the sooner he can try to get back to where he was before suffering the injury.
Regardless of his own situation, he has no problem with how Reggie Jackson got paid by the Pistons (5 years, $80 million):
"He earned it," Jennings said. "But I think my job is to come in here and push him every day when we get into practice. We're teammates. If we're going to play together, we've got to have that chemistry together. So my job is to just go in here and make it work."
He's confident the money will be there for himself next summer, but he wants to make sure that he's playing at the top of his game first. That starts with his rehab and continuing to progress toward a return when he's good and ready.