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Zach Randolph Injury Update: Still on Right Track to Return

Another encouraging sign for the Memphis Grizzlies as far as Zach Randolph is concerned, because while he may not be ready to put his shoulder through someone's chest on the block quite yet, he still appears to be rehabbing according to plan.

This from Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal:

Randolph walks without a limp. He's been cleared for non-contact basketball activity for more than a week, and he spent the past weekend working out with the team's athletic trainers and strength coach.

Randolph admitted that he's still limited with cutting and lateral movement.

"There's a lot of ways right now," Randolph said. "I'm not there yet. I can't put a percentage on it, either."

The Griz haven't set a target date for Randolph's return, but it is possible that he could return March 7 at Golden State. Memphis is off today but will play three games in four days starting Wednesday. The Griz then have three days off before that Golden State game, giving Randolph more practice time.

March 7 is the same date we passed along a few weeks ago, so we'd have to say no news -- or the same news, in this case -- is good news.

Z-Bo's tentative movements on the floor as the story noted speak to the fact that even when Randolph does get fully cleared for all things basketball, that does not necessarily mean a snap of the fingers and Randolph is one hundred percent back to normal just like that. It's going to take some time, even if he does make his return next Wednesday.

Getting readjusted to the rigors and contact of NBA basketball night after night can only happen through, well, the rigors and contact of NBA basketball. The fact that Randolph and the Grizzlies are being patient is fantastic for the big picture of this season and beyond. Only when he does return can the actual game rehabbing begin; still, next Wednesday sure doesn't seem all that far away anymore, does it?