By Adam Spolane

Rockets forward Ryan Anderson hasn’t enjoyed having to sit and watch his teammates play for the last couple of weeks.

“When you’re sitting out, it’s tough,” he said after a team film session Thursday. ”Especially when the guys are on the road, you kind of just feel like the stray dog just hangin’ back.”

Anderson has missed six games since spraining his right ankle in a March 24 win over New Orleans, and while he stayed back while his teammates visited Portland, Golden State and Phoenix.

“We were all keeping in touch, and it was tough watching them play because I wanted to be out there, but I’m definitely excited to get back on the court.”

His return is approaching. On Thursday, Anderson returned to the practice floor, and he hopes to play Friday when the Rockets host Detroit at Toyota Center.

“It feels good to be back with the guys,” he said. “We’ve been working hard on (the ankle) doing a lot of strengthening exercises, make sure the mobility is there, try to keep the swelling down because the swelling happened in a weird spot on the ankle, but it’s doing a lot better, feeling really good.”

The Rockets have four games left in the regular season before the playoffs start next weekend, and Anderson says it’s important for him to get back before the posteseason begins.

“It’s super valuable for me in my mind to be out there before playoffs,” he said. “Get my wind back, just get back into the flow of playing with the group. Obviously, we want to have our whole group ready to go at the best we can be for the playoffs, so I’ll have a few games to do that.”

In his first year with the Rockets, Anderson is averaging 13.5 points per game while shooting 39.7 percent from behind the 3-point line in a little less than 30 minutes per game. He had missed just four games prior to hurting the ankle, and he believes the injury could wind up having its benefits, and he credits the Rockets medical staff for that.

“This is not a rehab situation where you’re just kind of sitting and icing,” he said. “The great thing about this (medical) staff is they want to get you mobile, they want to get you in the weight room, so I feel stronger, I definitely lost weight since I’ve been hurt, which is a different thing.”

“I feel really good, I feel like I’m going to be back ready to go better than before I was hurt.”


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