Mike Conley making great strides toward Grizzlies return, still no timetable yet

When Mike Conley was forced to sit out with a sore left Achilles he left the Grizzlies in a decent place. They were 7-6, but there was hope that when Conley returned from injury they would be able to make a serious run at the playoffs.

Instead, Memphis immediately tanked into its worst stretch of the season: 11 straight losses, nine without Conley, the firing of coach David Fizdale and Marc Gasol telling the media that he would be okay with a trade from the Grizzlies. While it's probably too late to turn the season around, Memphis fans can find some positivity in the news that Conley is currently traveling with the team and is back to working out on the court.

Conley appears to have progressed strongly from rehab to treat a sore left Achilles and heel judging by his pregame and post-practice workouts. Conley went through a normal shooting routine, sprinting to spots on the floor and pulling up for mid-range and three-point shots.

He was on the court Saturday before the Grizzlies' 141-128 loss to the Golden State Warriors. Conley went through similar workouts last week before the Grizzlies played Phoenix and again prior to the Los Angeles Lakers game. The Grizzlies practiced Friday and Conley took the court again following the session to regain conditioning and test the Achilles.

However, Conley and the Grizzlies remain silent about a possible return date.

via Commercial Appeal

Conley has been one of the Grizzlies' most important players since the beginning -- and end -- of the Grit N Grind era that has defined the franchise for years. A return to the lineup might make Memphis respectable again. However, he's returning to a very different looking team from what he left.

With no timetable for Conley's return it will be interesting to see how Memphis chooses to approach this. The Grizzlies have yet to show any indication they want to trade him and Gasol, while OK with a deal, isn't making a demand for one. Memphis can try to bring Conley back to salvage the season, but there's a long mountain to climb if it wants to get back into playoff contention. 

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