It was last Sunday when the Trail Blazers were getting set to face the Golden State Warriors from Chase Center when the Blazers announced forward Nassir Little was available for the game.
Yet it wasn’t until Thursday that Little saw the floor.
The second-year forward entered Thursday’s game against the Minnesota Timberwolves at the 7:47 mark of the fourth quarter.
Little had not played in an NBA game since March 10, 2020 in Portland’s final home game before the season was postponed.
With Portland up 115-93 over Minnesota Little saw garbage time, but it was a perfect way to ease back into playing after being diagnosed with the coronavirus in early Dec.
The 20-year-old didn’t see any game action during the NBA restart either after Little dealt with dehydration complications following a concussion that he suffered in practice early on in the Orlando bubble.
Little recently opened up about recovering from COVID-19 with The Athletic’s Jason Quick.
Little recalled the first few weeks in Dec. --
“For me, I was on the worst part of the spectrum, the hard end of the disease,” Little told Jason Quick. “I didn’t have to go to the hospital or be on a ventilator, but I went through it bad. It hit me really bad. For about seven to 10 days, I was just really miserable.”
In 48 games played as a rookie last season for the Blazers, Little averaged 3.6 points, 2.3 rebounds and 0.5 assists.
As the Blazers cruised to a 135-117 victory Thursday, Little recorded two points and one rebound in eight minutes of action.
“It was good to see him out there,” Damian Lillard told NBC Sports Northwest’s Jamie Hudson following the game. “He’s been through a lot and then coming back this season, missing a lot of time, having to work his way back, with his condition, all those things. It’s been a tough few months for him. It was good to see him back on the court.
“When coach [Stotts] called his name, he starting smiling right away and everybody on the bench was kind of laughing about it. But he’s a young kid. He’s played basketball his whole life to be in the NBA and to start his career, he’s had some bumps in the road.
We are happy he is back on the floor as well!