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Steve Clifford says Malik Monk is healthy following “significant” ankle injury

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Clifford discussed Monk’s health, what Dwight Howard is doing to prepare for the season, and more in a radio interview with WFNZ.

2017 NBA Rookie Photo Shoot Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

In an interview with WFNZ’s Chris Kroeger, Charlotte Hornets head coach Steve Clifford stated Malik Monk is ready to work following a long recovery from a sprained ankle this summer.

Clifford said Monk will return to Charlotte Thursday, where he will be able to “amp up” his workouts following a “significant” ankle injury:

Clifford says Monk “hasn’t had the summer he had hoped for” but says he has done a good job with the things he’s been able to do. Despite the setback, Clifford believes Monk has enough time to get in shape and be ready for the upcoming season.

Monk suffered the ankle sprain during a pre-draft workout in May. It kept him out of Orlando Summer League, and by the sounds of its severity, prevented him from having a full offseason.

Given the news, its important to be even more patient with Monk as the preseason and the regular season approaches. Hitting the panic meter if he has a few poor performances would be unfair to a player who hasn’t had the desired amount of time to get ready for the NBA.

On the bright side, the sprain appears healed from all accounts.

Clifford also discussed Dwight Howard’s preparation for the season, stating he’s had a “really good summer.” He says while Howard is practicing his jumper in workouts, he’s focusing on his strengths as a scorer around the rim. Clifford noted that despite the league’s push towards perimeter oriented league, Howard will remain effective in the league if he plays to his strengths.

Howard is expected back in Charlotte in mid-September, following a trip to China.

Other notes from the interview:

  • Clifford says Kemba Walker is back on the court “full time” after recovering from knee surgery.
  • On two-way contracts: “It’s going to improve the overall level of talent” and is good for players who aren’t ready to play in the NBA but can stay in the United States and make more money than they previously could by playing in the G-League.
  • Says they are “close” on signing Julyan Stone.

The full interview is worth the listen, as Clifford is always candid when speaking with the media. Its good to know Monk and Walker are healthy, and that Howard is preparing well for the up coming season.