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SVG: Stanley Johnson’s shoulder injury ‘hasn’t really progressed’

Detroit Pistons rookie Stanley Johnson is in line to miss his fifth consecutive game on Saturday against the New York Knicks as he continues his recovery from a strained right shoulder.

After suffering the injury late in his team’s Feb. 22 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers, Johnson was in line to miss “a couple of weeks” by coach Stan Van Gundy’s estimate.

However, with next Monday representing the two week mark, Van Gundy remains uncertain as to when Johnson may ultimately be prepared to return.

“He hasn’t really progressed the way we would like,” Van Gundy said following his team’s practice on Friday. “He’s feeling discomfort. There’s nothing in terms of when (doctors) look in there — there’s nothing more going on — but he’s not feeling comfortable. That’s really where it is right now.”

A shoulder strain can be particularly finicky to rehabilitate when the injury is sustained on a player’s shooting arm, as in the case of Johnson.

In the 12 games prior to injury, Johnson’s production had begun to steadily elevate in comparison to the season’s start, averaging 11.8 points and 5.3 rebounds through late January and early February.

Meeks ready for practice, still far off from return After four months of inactivity, including a mid-February setback, backup shooting guard Jodie Meeks is giving practice another shot as he continues his recovery from a broken foot. Alas, with Detroit’s plentiful injury woes (Johnson’s shoulder, Anthony Tolliver’s sprained knee, and Spencer Dinwiddie’s bruised ankle), productive practice runs will be tough to come by in the near future.

“Jodie is cleared to go back to work, so he practiced today,” Van Gundy said. “But he’s done no five-on-five or nothing competitive, and I don’t know when we will get to that… It’s not going to be an easy road back for him to get ready.”

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