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Oklahoma City Thunder news and rumors: Victor Oladipo participates in this afternoon’s shootaround; will he return vs. Portland?

After missing 6 games with back spasms, will Oklahoma City’s second-leading scorer return tonight vs. Portland?

NBA: Golden State Warriors at Oklahoma City Thunder Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Having missed six-consecutive games due to back spasms, Oklahoma City Thunder shooting guard Victor Oladipo participated in Tuesday afternoon’s team shootaround.

This is hopeful news for Thunder nation, as Oladipo (16.1 ppg, 4.4 rpg) inches closer to a full return.

Though official injury reports still list Oladipo’s playing status as “out,” ahead of this evening’s home meeting vs. Portland, strong signs point toward the team’s second-leading scorer making his anticipated on-court return in short order.

There is possibility Oladipo could suit up during tonight’s final seasonal encounter vs. Portland.

Overall, Oklahoma City is 3-3 in its latest stretch minus Oladipo. The 6’4 guard hasn’t competed since OKC’s final outing before the All-Star break vs. New York. That night, Oladipo scored 21 points and made 3-of-6 3PA as Oklahoma City enjoyed a 116-105 win.

For the season, OKC has been without its second-leading scorer on 16 occasions due to various injuries. The Thunder sports a 9-7 record during those contests.

However, Oladipo’s (1.9 3PG, 35.4%) floor-spacing abilities and defensive prowess would be a welcome spark for an Oklahoma City Thunder grouping that has both shot poorly (22-86 3PM) and been outscored 336-309 (112-103) over its past three endeavors.

OKC has droped its previous three games —all vs. sub .500 teams— following a 3-0 run after acquiring Taj Gibson and Doug McDermott from Chicago at the NBA trade deadline.

Unfortunately, McDermott (36/23% FG/3PM) has struggled in his six contests with Oklahoma City. The 25-year-old small forward has connected on just one of his last twelve three-point attempts throughout OKC’s winless drought.

Further, replacement starter Alex Abrines (eye) played only 10 minutes vs. Dallas while misfiring on each of his three FGA’s.

If Oladipo is upgraded and competes in tonight’s contest, he will help check Portland’s high-scoring tandem of Damian Lillard (26 ppg) and CJ McCollum (23.3 ppg) while bolstering Oklahoma City’s recently ineffective defense.

Reports state that Victor Oladipo’s final playing status for tonight’s tilt will be a game-time decision.