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Marvin Bagley III is ‘working his butt off’ to return this season

The former No. 2 overall pick wants to get back on the court with his teammates this season.

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2019 NBA Global Games - India Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

Marvin Bagley III hasn’t appeared in a game for the Sacramento Kings since Jan. 20. In total, he’s played 13 games this season, bringing his total number of career NBA games up to 75 in almost two full seasons. Suffice to say, Bagley could use more reps.

It’s remains unclear when Bagley will take the floor again, in part because the season is still suspended, but also because the updates on Bagley’s health have been far and few. The last update we got was from Luke Walton, who told reporters in a conference call last month that Bagley was feeling “much better.” Again, not a lot to to work with.

Still, there’s reason to be optimistic that once the season returns, Bagley will be ready to go. In a recent interview with Jason Jones of The Athletic, Kings assistant Rico Hines said Bagley has been preparing himself for the final stretch of the season, which will hopefully end with the team’s first playoff berth since the 2005-06 season:

Hines is high on Bagley, too. One reason Bagley was so excited about this season was the work he did with Hines at UCLA over the summer, but a broken thumb and two foot sprains limited Bagley to 13 games.

“(Bagley) was hungry and he still is hungry,” Hines said. “He’s working his butt off to be a killer whenever this thing starts back up this season or next season.”

We’ll likely get a better idea of where Bagley is in terms of his health on Monday, when the practice facility at the Golden 1 Center re-opens. If Bagley’s foot injury is fully healed, he’ll be able to increase his work load, which, as of now, includes on-court running activities and skill work. He won’t be able to do contact drills or participate in a team scrimmage, but neither will any of his other teammates. When the time comes for them to get back into the gym together, the hope is that Bagley will be a full participant sooner rather than later.

In any case, we should know more next week.