Estimated Return Date: 2018-10-17
Booker (hand) said Monday that he's hopeful to suit up in the Suns' regular-season opener Oct. 17 against the Mavericks, Marc J. Spears of ESPN.com reports.
When Booker first required surgery on his right hand Sept. 10, he was expected to need six weeks to make a full recovery, a timeline that would have resulted in him missing at least a handful of games to begin the campaign. While the 21-year-old has yet to resume taking contact, he has returned to some light shooting drills, perhaps increasing his own optimism about his chances of being available earlier than anticipated. Even if Booker doesn't reach his goal of suiting up in the opener, it seems apparent that he won't need much time beyond that to make it back on the court, so prospective fantasy owners shouldn't dock him significantly in drafts for the hand injury. Given the lack of promising options at point guard for the Suns, Booker could take on a greater role as a playmaker in his fourth NBA season, giving him a good shot at besting the career-high 4.7 assists per game he averaged in 2017-18.