Memphis Grizzlies forward Jaren Jackson Jr. is closer to returning from the left knee injury that has sidelined him all season.
General manager Zach Kleiman said Friday that Jackson could be back on the court before the end of the regular season.
“At this point, he is on track to return in April, by the end of the month, and we can’t wait to have him out there,” Kleiman said. “But Jaren has made very significant strides, encouraged by the progress he’s made, and we just can’t wait to have him back on the court with us.”
Jackson, 21, tore his left meniscus last August in a game against the New Orleans Pelicans after the NBA restart in the bubble near Orlando.
Last season — his second in the NBA — Jackson averaged 17.4 points and 4.6 rebounds per game, hitting nearly 40 percent of his 3-point shots.
The Grizzlies selected the 6-foot-11 Jackson with the No. 4 overall pick in the 2018 draft.
Without him, Memphis is 21-20 and in ninth place in the Western Conference, just three games ahead of the 11th-place Sacramento Kings. Teams in the No. 7-10 positions when the regular season ends will participate in a play-in tournament for the final two playoff spots.
The Grizzlies are also five games behind the Los Angeles Lakers for the No. 4 spot in the tightly packed conference.
Guard Ja Morant is leading the Grizzlies in scoring at 19.1 points per game.
–Field Level Media