Randolph gets closer to return

The Sports Xchange

There really isn't a chance that Zach Randolph will play on the Grizzlies' current road trip that started with a 110-92 victory at Golden State on Wednesday.

But the fact that Randolph is with the team on the trip, traveling for the first time since he tore a medial collateral ligament in his right knee in early January, is a positive step forward.

On Monday and Tuesday before the Griz left for the road, Randolph participated in his first contact practices. He's wearing a knee brace and Griz team doctors have told him the knee is structurally sound.

"You want to go out there and do what you know you can do, know that it's stable, know that I'm not going to come down and tweak anything," Randolph said. "I have to get comfortable with this brace, because I've never worn a brace before.

"Right now, the biggest things I have to work on are my conditioning and my timing. My skills are still there."

Memphis is 22-12 without Randolph, and he said all he wants to do is come back and fit into the flow.

"The guys have played great, there's a lot of talent out there," Randolph said. "Hopefully, I can come in and give a little more to help them win games."

The Grizzlies get a short break before returning at Phoenix on Saturday.

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