NEW ORLEANS — Phoenix Suns star Devin Booker will return for his team’s Game 6 against the New Orleans Pelicans on Thursday night after missing the past three games with a strained right hamstring, coach Monty Williams said.
Booker was officially upgraded to questionable shortly before the game and had been expected to test the leg in pregame warm-ups before getting the OK. Williams said he’d progressed well in recent days as the Suns took a 3-2 lead in the first-round series.
“It’s hard this time of the year to mimic an NBA game,” Williams said of what led to Booker’s return. “He’s been on the floor with (Suns assistant coach) Jarrett Jack a few times. And doing the best he can to get to that point.”
When asked if the Suns would be monitoring Booker’s minutes in Game 6, Williams just smiled and said, “Yes,” adding that the guard’s return gives Phoenix “roster balance.”
“It helps to kind of settle the order of the team a little bit, relatively speaking,” Williams said. “He won’t play his normal 36, 38, 40 workload, but it still gives you a bit more balance.”
Booker scored 25 points in the Suns’ Game 1 win and then had 31 in the first half of Game 2 before suffering the injury in the third quarter and leaving the eventual loss.
ESPN’s Andrew Lopez contributed to this report.