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Could Zach Randolph Return As Early As Next Week?

With Zach Randolph returning to practice, there is some buzz that our leading scorer could return to the basketball court as early as next week. A bit optimistic, maybe? Sure. But, at this point, I think the best course of action is to let him heal, and heal fully.

Right now we're in a hunt for the top spot in our division, just three games behind the Spurs, and playing our best basketball of the season. There's no real reason to rush him back. As much as we'd all love to see him back in the lineup, wouldn't it make sense to let him get to as close to 100% as possible before he suits up? That'd be my prescription, if anyone out there is listening!

It also seems to be what Lionel Hollins is pushing for, as he told the Commercial Appeal late last night:

"Zach is trying to get acclimated," Griz coach Lionel Hollins said. "He's a ways from playing, but it was nice to see him out there and able to do some contact stuff. We'll keep evaluating him as we go forward."

Sounds good to me. He's saying the right thing here because if we push Randolph back, and he does re-injure himself, well, we'll be screwed. To a point. Could we use him next week against the Lakers? Of course. But does one regular season game really matter all that much when we're playing as well as we are, in the midst of an "easier" block in the schedule? No. So while there's positive news coming from the Grizzlies camp regarding Randolph, I still think we need to sit back and let him heel before we get too excited about pushing him out there on the court.