Pistons forward Jonas Jerebko remains hopeful that he'll play this year.

Five months ago, Jerebko crashed to the court seven minutes into Detroit's first exhibition game at Miami.

Three days later, Jerebko underwent surgery for a ruptured Achilles tendon. He hasn't played since.

He says he's "this close" to playing yet doesn't know when that will be.

Jerebko has convinced himself that what he has gone through will make him a better player: "This has made me stronger mentally. All those nights not being able to do anything tests you."