Often injured Duke basketball star finally returns to court

Former Duke basketball standout Justise Winslow. (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)
Former Duke basketball standout Justise Winslow. (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images) /

An often injured Duke basketball standout finally made his return to the court. 

Since leaving the Duke basketball program after one season, former Blue Devil Justise Winslow has seen his NBA stock fluctuate.

Winslow made the 2015-16 NBA All-Rookie team after playing 78 games with the Miami Heat but was then limited to just 18 games in his second season.

The versatile forward responded with 68 and 66 games, respectively, in his next two seasons before the injury bug struck him again in his fifth season in the NBA, seeing just 11 games for the 2019-20 Heat before being traded to the Memphis Grizzlies (13-13) at the NBA Trading Deadline.

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Winslow was set to return for Memphis in mid-March last year, but that had to wait after the season was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The former Blue Devil was then preparing to make his debut with the Grizzlies in the NBA’s bubble this past summer before a hip injury forced him back to the sidelines.

Winslow underwent hip replacement surgery, and on Saturday, he finally appeared in an NBA game for the first time in 13 months.

As Memphis continues to recover from a poor start to the season, the often injured veteran could bring a toughness and grit that the Grizzlies have been looking for.

Duke basketball star shakes off rust in debut

Only having played in one game since December 4, 2019 and none since January 8, 2020, Justise Winslow noticeably had some rust to shake off on February 20, 2021 against the Phoenix Suns.

Memphis fell in a lopsided affair, 128-97, as Winslow logged 21 minutes with just nine points on 3-of-14 shooting from the floor.

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The Houston, Texas native also added seven rebounds and a steal to his stat line as he was 1-of-4 from three-point range and 2-of-4 from the free throw line.

The Memphis Grizzlies are currently the No. 9 seed in the Western Conference, which would put the team into the ‘Play-In Tournament’ that the NBA is implementing this season.

Justise Winslow will return to the court on Monday, February 22 as the Grizzlies travel to Texas to face the Dallas Mavericks. (13-15) at 8:30pm EST.

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