It has been 10 weeks since George Hill last dribbled a basketball in a game. The veteran guard came over to the Philadelphia 76ers in a trade deadline deal, a lights-out shooter thought to put them over the championship hump.

The team knew it would be a slow process getting him back into basketball shape, but there appears to be some light at the end of the tunnel. Hill joined the Sixers on April 3 — non-contact work, no game action — and has been getting to know his new teammates. While the team won’t put a timetable on his return from thumb surgery, the former Oklahoma City Thunder player promised he’d be back before the playoffs. And “sooner than expected.”

“No one knows the timetable yet,” Hill told reporters on Thursday. “But I will be back this season, for sure. I will be back before playoffs, for sure. So just getting everything going, you know, once you shut your body down for three months or so, not just your finger but you got to make sure the whole car is up to date — with your Achilles, your ankle, your legs, and things like that.”

Hill doesn’t need much time to acclimate. He’s a proven commodity, a 15-year veteran who has hit clutch shots in the playoffs. But the Sixers see him as a long-term piece and plan to sign him to an extension after the season. They don’t want their new car to break down before it hits the track.

New #Sixers guard George Hill wasn’t aware of a time table for him making his 76ers debut but, “I will be back before playoffs for sure.”

— Dave Uram (@MrUram) April 8, 2021

“I’ve been blessed enough to come here and not be rushed back,” Hill said. “I think the team is doing a great job right there, so it kind of gives you a cushion to make sure it’s right and back into rhythm. But I think I’ve shown a lot of progress the past four or five days I’ve been here, with some of the moving and things like that, so looking forward to getting back out there as soon as I can.”

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