Warriors

Warriors focused on big picture with Wiseman's slow rehab

Warriors
James Wiseman

As the Warriors prepare for Klay Thompson's impending return, second-year big man James Wiseman's comeback from meniscus surgery has moved slower than some expected.

It has been eight months since Wiseman underwent surgery, but the young center still isn't cleared to scrimmage and is limited to individual activity. Warriors head coach Steve Kerr knows how hard the process has been, both physically and mentally, for the No. 2 overall pick in the 2020 draft, but has been proud of how the 20-year-old continues to attack his rehab.

"I wouldn't necessarily say that," Kerr said Tuesday when asked if the mental part of the return would be harder than the physical for Wiseman. "He is going through the physical part every day and it's not easy. I'm really proud of James for maintaining his poise and his work ethic and just continuing to come in every day and get his work in and keep his chin up. But it's all tied together. He is getting closer and we're all excited to see him on the court doing more. Really, big picture-wise, he has got his whole career ahead of him and we just want to help him feel good and get this season off to a good start for him."

Kerr and the Warriors know the 7-foot center will give them another dimension once he returns. While the 20-4 Warriors would love to have Wiseman's athleticism and length on the floor as soon as possible, Kerr just wants Wiseman to be able to get the rehab weight off his shoulders.

 

"I just feel bad for James because I am dying for him to get out there for his own well-being and improvement and where he is in his young career," Kerr said Monday of Wiseman. "He's just too young for something like this to happen. So I feel bad for him."

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While Wiseman's return seems like it's crawling along, meniscus rehab's are tricky to map out and often take eight or nine months to fully recover from. Memphis Grizzlies star Jaren Jackson Jr. tore his meniscus in the bubble and didn't return until eight-and-a-half months later.

The Warriors expected Wiseman to be ready sooner, but Kerr now understands the variance in meniscus recovery timelines and the need to take the safe road.

“I figured this question would start coming up because when he had the injury last season, we talked about him being ready for camp,” Kerr said on Nov. 23. “That is obviously two months behind us. I didn’t understand much about meniscus injury timelines. I probably said several times that I’m hopefully he’s ready for camp, but now that I’ve learned more about it, there’s just varying degrees of timeframes. He’s obviously a massive guy with a lot of weight coming down on that knee, so we’re just being very cautious.”

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