Zeller (knee) is fully cleared for non-contact drills and is nearing a return to 5-on-5 scrimmages, Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer reports.

Zeller continues to work his way back from mid-December knee surgery and was able to go through full non-contact drills for the first time in six weeks Thursday. His next step in his recovery is 5-on-5 scrimmaging and the big man is reportedly only a few days off from getting the go ahead to do so. Of course, Zeller will then have to get his conditioning in order and have the knee evaluated following the increase in activity, so he could still be a week or two from attempting to get back on the court for games. Another update should come once he's officially scrimmaging, but either way, after missing the last 23 games, Zeller finally appears to be in the latter stages of his recovery.

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