SACRAMENTO -- When media was allowed into the Sacramento Kings' practice facility on Friday afternoon, there was a surprising face amongst the crowd of players on the floor. De'Aaron Fox, who has missed the last eight games due to a grade 3 left ankle sprain, was back on the court shooting with development coach Rico Hines.
Fox, who rolled his left ankle in practice back on Nov. 11, has missed the last eight games for Sacramento. He was originally scheduled for re-evaluation after 3-4 weeks and Monday is the three week mark.
A notorious quick healer, Fox was able to shake his walking boot after just five days. He's nowhere near a full return, but the fact that he is already on the court beginning the rehabilitation process is a very good sign for the Kings.
In addition to Fox, second-year big man Marvin Bagley was on the court as well. The 20-year-old power forward broke his right thumb during the opening game of the season and has missed the last 16 games for the Kings.
Bagley has been working out and shooting for the last few weeks, but he's still wearing a removable brace on his hand. Originally scheduled to miss four to six weeks with the injury, Bagley has already passed the five week mark and isn't expected to play in the next two games for the Kings.
"Marvin is much closer than De'Aaron is, but it's one of those things that he hasn't been cleared to go contact yet without anything on," head coach Luke Walton said following practice. "Will he play tomorrow or Monday? No, but is he getting closer? Yes."
According to Walton, Bagley has already been re-evaluated by the team's medical staff. The Kings host Denver on Saturday and the Bulls on Monday before heading back out on the road.
It's possible that Bagley could return on Wednesday in Portland against the Trail Blazers, but he hasn't had a full contact practice yet. Wednesday is the six week mark if his original injury.
In addition to Fox and Bagley, veteran Trevor Ariza was back at practice after missing the last five games due to a personal reason and a sore right groin. He is not expected to suit up on Saturday, but he is close to a return for the Kings.
With Ariza out, rookie Justin James has stepped in and given the Kings a nice boost of energy off the bench.
Reinforcements are getting close for the Kings, which is huge. They've survived the early barrage and currently sit at 7-10 on the season.