Thunder's Enes Kanter returns to practice after arm surgery

Oklahoma City Thunder big man Enes Kanter was back at practice Wednesday, getting closer to returning to play after undergoing arm surgery in January.

Kanter, who broke a bone in his arm on Jan. 26 by punching a chair, participated in a noncontact practice when the Thunder returned from the All-Star break. Kanter underwent surgery on Jan. 27 and was set to be re-evaluated in four weeks, with some worries that he could miss up to two months, but he has been progressing ahead of schedule.

It's too early to say whether Kanter will be available Friday against the Los Angeles Lakers. Thunder coach Billy Donovan pointed out that Kanter needs to go through some contact drills first, which is the expectation for Thursday's practice.

"If we get in practice here and he's not able to play post defense because he can't put his forearm on guys and prevent a guy from backing down, it's gonna be pretty clear he's not playing Friday," Donovan told reporters. "If he's having a hard time going up in traffic with guys slapping and reaching at him and he's in pain, he's probably not gonna play."

Kanter is averaging 14.4 points and 6.7 rebounds in 47 games this season.