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Jason Richardson plays his first game in more than two years, starts for Sixers vs. Pacers

Philadelphia 76ers 2014 Media Day

Philadelphia 76ers 2014 Media Day

NBAE/Getty Images

Jason Richardson last played an NBA game on Jan. 18, 2013. He underwent knee surgery which had a long recovery timetable, then suffered a stress fracture in his foot near the beginning of this season.

Sixers head coach Brett Brown promised that Richardson would not go quietly into retirement, but with the team looking to rebuild and feature young talent, it seemed as though the veteran’s playing days, due to the injuries as well as the situation in Philadelphia, might be finished.

But Richardson has been nothing but a positive influence on the younger players during his rehabilitation, and his hard work finally paid off on Friday, as he returned to the starting lineup to appear in his first NBA game in more than two seasons.

Richardson went 0-for-2 from the field in his first eight minutes of action, but was active in finishing with five rebounds, two steals, an assist and a blocked shot. He’ll be an unrestricted free agent at the conclusion of this season, but whether he continues his career or he doesn’t, it’s a triumph of sorts just making it back to the NBA level after more than two long years on the sidelines.