Pistons forward Charlie Villanueva did some on-court work with the team for the first time in a long time during Monday’s practice.
Pistons coach Lawrence Frank said he didn’t participate in any contact drills, but even Villanueva doing three-on-zero or five-on-zero drills bodes well for his return.
He said he felt very good, considering his ankle injury has prevented him from doing any real running for the last two months, but practiced for about 20 minutes without getting winded.
“I’m taking it day by day” Villanueva said. “The progress is really good and we’ll see what happens tomorrow.”
He said this was the toughest stretch in his career by far and didn’t know if returning to the floor this season was a real possibility.
“There’s one time where my ankle was really painful and I thought I’d have to go into surgery but Arnie (Kander), he stayed on me. I put my faith in him.”
He doesn’t know precisely when he’ll be available, but he’ll have to work himself back into Frank’s rotation.
“If it’s not your night, someone else gets a chance,” Frank said “For Charlie and Austin (Daye), they know the way to earn their time. If you don’t get your opportunity, this (practice) is their only time.”