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Cade Cunningham, a Detroit Pistons player, makes solitary practice, but remains day-to-day

Cade Cunningham, a Detroit Pistons player, makes solitary practice, but remains day-to-day

Missing playing time is nothing if not the ideal solution, but it is often the best course of action. Cade Cunningham, a rookie guard at the Detroit Pistons, didn't play in the preseason due to an ankle injury. The Pistons wanted to take the cautious approach to ensure he recovers fully.

Cunningham hasn't practiced fully since the first week of training camp, but he did practice on Monday. In his absence, the medical staff and training staff have assisted him in maintaining a degree of fitness.

While nothing replaces live game reps, head coach Dwane Casey believes that this approach may help Cunningham have a long, successful career.

After practice, Casey said, Its about his health and his long-term success. We dont want to be stupid and come out and force him out there and now youre out another month or whatever it is, he added.

Casey has stated prior to Mondays practice that he wanted the No. 1 overall pick in this year s draft to have two to three practices before a game. Cunningham would be evaluated on a daily basis and there would not be definite dates or time limits on when he would return.

So Cunningham may be out of action when the Pistons begin the regular season against the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday at Little Caesars Arena (7 p.m., Bally Sports Detroit).

When hes ready, if illl be ready to go, therere no one who can change that than his body, Casey said. The medical staff is conservative and theyre being extremely cautious and this is a good thing.

Cunningham would not be the first player to miss playing time in his first season since 2009, and he wouldn't be among the few top overall picks to lose playing space early in a season. Zion Williamson, selected first overall in 2019, tore his meniscus during the preseason and didn't make his regular-season debut until almost three months into the season for the New Orleans Pelicans. Blake Griffin, the former Pistons forward, missed his entire rookie season with the Los Angeles Clippers due to a stress fracture in his knee.

Both Williamson and Griffin have received NBA All-Star accolades and are still making waves in the league, especially with the attention that many NBA teams give their players.

Teams have invested in some of the top medical professionals and equipment to ensure players receive the appropriate care. Players may also seek second opinions from other experts if they wish.

The medical professions of today are off the charts in terms of their medicine, their thought process, and the equipment they have," Casey said. We have every piece of equipment known to (man) in the NBA, as well as some of the top medical spots in NBA. We've got everything you need. So, again, its a new NBA, which is great. I think its great.

The decision on whether or not Cunningham plays will be finalized until game day. If he misses it though, it may help him have a longer-term career.

Other injury news

While Cunninghams injury is a hot topic, the Pistons have been dealing with fewer bumps. Kelly Olynyk, a veteran center, was not able to participate in practice on Monday. He missed a portion of it as he wanted to take precaution.

Saddiq Bey was a full participant on Monday after undergoing retraining the day before. The team will re-evaluate him Tuesday to determine how his ankle feels after a long practice.

Killian Hayes also practiced after returning to full practice on Sunday.

NBA announces official rosters

The NBA announced the official rosters of each of the 30 teams on Monday night, ahead of Tuesday's start of regular season. Following the preseason, fans had already an idea of what Detroit's roster looks like.

The 17 players who will make their first appearances for the Pistons at the start of the season are now officially announced.

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