Oklahoma City Thunder big man Steven Adams suffered an elbow injury in warm-ups against the Dallas Mavericks on Jan. 22 and did not play in the game. After sitting out against the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday, he has been cleared to return to the court.
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Adams Active vs. Knicks
Tuesday, Jan. 26
Adams' Return Gives Boost to Thunder Frontcourt
It would have been a difficult setback for the Thunder if Adams missed extended time, especially since he has been durable early in his career. The Thunder used a first-round pick on Adams in 2013, and he played in 81 games during his rookie season and 70 games last year.
He appeared to turn the corner as a double-double threat in his second season, averaging 7.7 points and 7.5 rebounds per contest. Adams can score around the basket, but he is most valuable as an interior defender. According to NBA.com, opponents shot 5.5 percent worse than their season averages from inside six feet when Adams guarded them in 2014-15.
Prior to the injury, he was averaging 10.5 points and 9.4 rebounds per 36 minutes this season.
The Thunder have plenty of depth in the frontcourt, but they will need Adams to serve as a shot-blocking presence who cleans up the glass as the season progresses.