Quincy Pondexter is clinging to hope.
While talking midrange jumper following a shootaround session last week, the Memphis Grizzlies reserve shooting guard appeared unaffected by the stress fracture in his right foot he suffered in a Dec. 9 loss against GoldenState.
Days later, the team announced that Pondexter would miss the remainder of the season.
“I’m fine. I just took a couple of joke-around shots,” Pondexter told MemphiSport as the Grizzlies prepared for their regular season finale against the Dallas Mavericks.
Although Pondexter has yet to be cleared by doctors to resume practicing, the former University of Washington star hinted the possibility exists that he could return during Memphis’ playoff stretch.
The No. 7 seed Grizzlies took a two games to one lead in their best-of-7 opening round playoff series Thursday night with a 98-95 overtime win against the No. 2 seed Oklahoma City Thunder in FedExForum. Game 4 is Saturday night at 8:30 CST.
“It depends on how far of a run they make,” Pondexter said, when asked if he could return during the playoffs. “ I could possibly be available. I don’t know yet. I haven’t discussed the time table with doctors.”
If Pondexter is cleared to return, he would add more depth to a bench that has produced quality minutes through two playoff games.
The 26-year-old, Fresno, Calif. native played a pivotal role in Memphis’ dramatic postseason run last year that ended in the Western Conference Finals.
Pondexter appeared in 15 playoff games last year, registering career highs in points (8.9) and minutes played (23.8). In all, he’s appeared in 22 postseason games since he was traded to the Grizzlies from New Orleans in December 2011 for Greivis Vasquez.
Although he has not been cleared to return to action, Pondexter said he’s recouping comfortably and would welcome the opportunity to give it a go if the Grizzlies manage to upset the Thunder.
“It’s feels great,” said Pondexter, when asked about the status of his foot. “I’ve been conditioning a few weeks now. You know, I see a lot of progress. But I’m fine. That’ll be awesome (if cleared to play) because I really want to get out there and play. I’m excited. I’m glad (the Grizzlies) are doing well.”
The past two seasons have been challenging for Pondexter, considering he has battled an assortment of injuries. Prior to his season-ending foot injury, Pondexter was limited to 59 games during the 2012-13 season because of a right MCL sprain.
Andre Johnson covers the NBA for MemphiSport. To reach Johnson, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.