Jodie Meeks is back on the practice floor for the Detroit Pistons, but head coach Stan Van Gundy doesn't know how long it will be until Meeks is able to return to game action.
Meeks has been out since Oct. 28 after breaking his foot, playing a grand total of two games and 17 minutes so far this season. The Pistons have sorely missed his sharpshooting ability and have heavily relied on Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (top five in minutes per game this season) in his absence.
However, Van Gundy says because the team is so short-handed he is unsure how to get him up to game speed during the team's limited amount of practice time and with a limited roster.
"He's done no 5-on-5 or nothing competitive and I don't know when we'll get to that because we're so far down in people," coach Stan Van Gundy said, according to MLive. "When Brandon (Jennings) was coming back, we had enough guys. We could go 4-on-4 full court at the end of practice.
"I really can't do that. It's not going to be an easy road back for him."
The Pistons are also without Stanley Johnson (shoulder), Anthony Tolliver (knee) and Spencer Dinwiddie (ankle).
While there is no clear timetable for his return, it would be an ideal scenario for Detroit to get him back on the floor for most of the team's nine-game homestand, which begins March 16. The long homestand opens up an easy way to closely monitor Meeks in a friendly, controlled environment while also allowing him to play in games where the team is most likely playing some of its better ball.
From the team's perspective, however, it essentially must operate under the assumption that the primary goal is to have Meeks back in time for a first-round playoff series, and use the rest of the regular season to allow him to get his legs under him and moving back at game speed.
The season ends April 13.