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Billy Donovan Has No Idea When Andre Roberson Will Return and Maybe it's Never

NEW ORLEANS, LA - NOVEMBER 20:  Andre Roberson #21 of the Oklahoma City Thunder stands in front of a www.550716.com sign during a NBA game against the New Orleans Pelicans at the Smoothie King Center on November 20, 2017 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The New Orleans Pelicans won the game 114 - 107. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
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Oklahoma City Thunder fans have waited roughly 20 months to welcome Andre Roberson back to the hardwood, and based on this latest report from head coach Billy Donovan, they'll have to remain as patient as ever.

Speaking ahead of the Thunder's preseason tilt against the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday night, the coach claimed that Roberson would not play in the game, and that he doesn't have any timeline for when the defensive stalwart will return in 2019.

For any Thunder fans out there wondering if Donovan's quote is from Tuesday and not a whole year ago, we can confirm that, yes, it came today. That's how long this process has been.

This update should actually worry Thunder Nation, because it comprehensively goes against what Donovan had been asserting throughout OKC's preseason camp. He previously claimed that Roberson was practicing without limitations for weeks.

Either he suffered another setback, or team doctors aren't yet convinced that he's ready for game action. In any event, the lack of progress is troubling.

Roberson ruptured his left patellar tendon back in January of 2018, and the 27-year-old wing has since been rehabbing in an attempt to return to the floor.

It's truly disheartening that it has taken the 2017 All-Defensive Team member this long to get back to full strength, and when (or if) he returns this season, we can absolutely expect the Thunder to stick to a load management regimen for him.