Recovering from Thumb Surgery, George Hill Says He Will Be Back Before the Playoffs

Photo Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

George Hill is currently working with the 76ers following the deadline day trade from Oklahoma City, but has yet to make his debut as he continues to recover from thumb surgery.

His last game was on Sunday, January 24th, a 22-point effort in a loss to the LA Clippers.

He’s “doing good” now as he ramps up physical therapy in anticipation of a return.

“I got the cast off about a week and a half ago,” Hill said after Thursday’s practice. “Just doing the rehab with our PT staff and things like that. The rare thing is that it’s a mallet on the thumb, rather than normally another finger, so it’s an uncommon area that you normally get the mallet on, but I’ve been blessed enough to come here and not have to be in a rush to get back. I think the team is doing a great job, so it kind of gives you a cushion (of time) to make sure it’s right and get back into rhythm. But I think we’ve shown a lot of progress in the last 4-5 days I’ve been here, with movement and some of the things like that, so I’m looking forward to getting back out there as soon as I can.”

As far as a timetable, we thought we may have seen Hill this past weekend at home, but we’re not yet there.

“They just said they want to take it one day at a time,” he added. “No one knows the timetable yet. But I will be back this season, for sure. I’ll be back before playoffs, for sure. It’s just about getting everything going. Once you shut your body down for three months or so, not just your finger, but you have to make sure the whole car is up to date. Achilles, ankles, legs, things like that. Just getting back into shape and the rhythm and groove of basketball. But coming in the last couple days to now, the progress has been tremendous and it’s really going well. It’s going to be sooner than expected.”

Hill didn’t have much to say about a specific role on the team, and explained that he just wants to win basketball games. Our guess is that he comes off the bench as a sixth man and backup ball handler for a squad that needed two-way perimeter play and some shooting.

He did talk to Danny Green this summer about the possibility of playing together in Philadelphia in the future.

“If I could go to a couple of places, this was one of my choices,” Hill said. “The reason why is that I felt like this was a good enough team to compete for a championship, first of all. I think we have a great coach and the staff to get us there. But playing here in Philly as an opponent, you soak in the tradition, the way the fans are, the atmosphere they bring. They’re diehard fans, and if you’re playing good or bad they’ll let you know. But you want a city like that, that cares. You want fans that care about the sport and care about their team and want to see their team win games. I think there are a lot of guys I can relate to, and maybe one of the things they were missing was outside shooting, other than Danny and a couple of guys. (I’m) just trying to fill that void, that missing piece for a championship.”

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