Cade Cunningham injury update: When will the No. 1 pick debut for Pistons?



It doesn’t sound like the Pistons will have to wait too much longer for Cade Cunningham to make his debut.

The No. 1 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, Cunningham missed Detroit’s first two games of the 2021-22 season with a sprained right ankle.

Pistons head coach Dwane Casey said the team is taking a cautious approach with Cunningham’s recovery.

“He wants to play,” Casey recently said of Cunningham. “The medical people are holding him back. You don’t want to rush him back if it’s not 100 percent. There are certain movements he has where it’s still sore.”

How long has Cade Cunningham been injured?

Cunningham suffered a sprained right ankle early in training camp. The injury kept him out of Detroit’s entire preseason.

The injury isn’t considered to be serious, per The Athletic’s James Edwards III.

Before training camp, Cunningham appeared in three games with the Pistons in Summer League, posting averages of 18.7 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.3 assists.

When could Cade Cunningham make his debut?

Pistons general manager Troy Weaver said during opening week that he would “anticipate hopefully seeing [Cunningham] when we get back off the road,” adding that he’s “pretty much day-to-day.”

The Pistons opened their season at home with a matchup against the Bulls. They’re currently on a three-game road trip, starting in Chicago and ending in Philadelphia.

The Pistons return home on Oct. 30 when they face the Orlando Magic.

Pistons upcoming schedule
Date Opponent Time (ET)
Mon, Oct. 25 at Atlanta 7:30 PM
Thu, Oct. 28 at Philadelphia 7:00 PM
Sat, Oct. 30 vs. Orlando 7:00 PM
Sun, Oct. 31 at Brooklyn 7:30 PM
Tue, Nov. 2 vs. Milwaukee 7:00 PM
Thu, Nov. 4 vs. Philadelphia 7:00 PM
Fri, Nov. 5 vs. Brooklyn 7:00 PM

Ahead of their return to Detroit, the plan is for Cunningham to workout with the team’s G League affiliate, the Motor City Cruise, as the Pistons ramp up his rehab.

“We made the decision to make sure we bring him back gradually where he gets some time with the G League team and practices with them and get some reps with them, because our practice yesterday was good, but it wasn’t up and down and scrimmaging that he’s going to get with the G League team,” said Casey.

What is Cade Cunningham’s potential?’s draft expert Kyle Irving had the following to say of Cunningham when the Pistons drafted him No. 1 overall.

“The 6-foot-8 jumbo guard has the most polished skill set of any player in this class, ready to make an impact and lead a franchise from Day 1. He can play point guard and initiate offence for budding players like Jerami Grant, Saddiq Bey and Isaiah Stewart, or play off the ball alongside last year’s lottery pick, Killian Hayes.”

Cunningham has drawn comparisons to the likes of Grant Hill, Jayson Tatum and Luka Doncic.


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