Already off to a 4-2 start, the Wizards are about to get even stronger.
Starting power forward Markieff Morris, who has been sidelined since late September, is on track to be activated Wednesday night against the Phoenix Suns.
That would allow him to serve his one-game suspension due to last weekend's fight against the Warriors and make his season debut on Friday against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Morris, 28, had surgery to repair a sports hernia and his abdominal wall on Sept. 22. Friday against the Cavaliers would be exactly six weeks since the surgery. Morris was prescribed a six-to-eight week recovery timeline, which could end up right on the money.
In the past several weeks Morris has worked his way up from 1-on-1 non-contact drills all the way to 5-on-5 scrimmages, a step he took on Tuesday at Capital One Arena.
As long as he checks out fine at Wednesday morning's shootaround, he should be good to go.
"Legs are a little heavy, but I feel ready to play," he said.
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Head coach Scott Brooks said he expects to play Morris anywhere from 12 to 16 minutes in his first game. The Wizards plan to take their time with Morris, knowing it will likely take him several weeks to reach midseason form.
Morris himself knows it will take time.
"You have to actually play in games to be in game shape, not just running around in 5-on-5 in practice. You need to actually be in the game atmosphere," he said. "You can do anything you want; run marathons or whatever. It's not going to get you ready to play unless you are really out there."
Morris coming back but not at full capacity begs the question of what the Wizards will do with Kelly Oubre, Jr., who has filled in admirably for Morris. Oubre has started five of the Wizards' six games in Morris' place and has thrived, averaging 11.5 points, 6.2 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 1.0 blocks.
Oubre will continue to play heavy minutes in a sixth-man role, whether he starts some games in the short-term or not.
"Right now [Morris] is our starter. We don't have a starting power forward controversy," Brooks said.
"I would love to keep starting," Oubre said. "But at the end of the day, I want to do what is best for my team."
Brooks added that it will depend on how many minutes the Wizards decide Morris can play from the beginning, but long-term Morris remains the starter regardless of Oubre's play so far.
Brooks anticipates Oubre and Morris playing some together as the season moves on. Last season the Wizards experimented with Morris at the five in small-ball lineups and liked what they saw.
Morris will be happy to play in those lineups and noted he was a center in college and high school. Morris, Oubre and others will have to adapt to adjusted roles, but Brooks doesn't foresee any issues.
"We're a good enough team that we know sacrificing is going to be important," Brooks said of roles changing. "If we don't, then we don't have the right mindset."
If Morris does indeed return on Friday, the Wizards will be at full-strength just in time to host the Cavs, who won the Eastern Conference last season. On whether Morris is looking forward to playing LeBron James in his return, he quipped: "It doesn't matter who it is. He's just another man."
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