Aces coach Bill Laimbeer has waited patiently for his entire roster to become available.
It’s finally happening.
Slowly but surely.
Laimbeer confirmed Wednesday that third-year point guard Moriah Jefferson will practice Thursday, marking the next step in her return from a knee injury that sidelined her the past year.
She’s not yet cleared for contact, Laimbeer said during a national conference call, but she’ll be on the court, and the Aces are hoping she’s game ready by early July.
“We’ve got to take that one step at at time,” he said.
Second-year guards Kelsey Plum and Lindsay Allen have handled point guard duties during Jefferson’s absence.
In two seasons, Jefferson has flashed the ability to score and distribute in pick-and-roll situations. She’s also a career 38.9 percent 3-point shooter on 4.1 attempts per game.
Jefferson was one of the best rookies in the league in 2016, but missed 13 games last season with right knee soreness, and had successful surgery in September. She’s been active in the Las Vegas community since the team’s relocation from San Antonio and has been a positive influence during practice and games.
Laimbeer said he’s been watching film of Jefferson as he prepares for her return, and is looking for ways to integrate her into the team’s offense and defense.
“She’s really looking forward to getting on the court and contributing,” Laimbeer said. “I’m coming to the conclusion that she’s actually really good. I’ve got to get her on the floor.”