Saturday, Jan. 15, will mark nine months since James Wiseman underwent successful surgery for an injury he sustained in his right meniscus last season. Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Tuesday before Golden State's game against the Memphis Grizzlies that there still isn't a date set for when Wiseman will go against contact, but Kerr provided a positive update on the young center.
That's both physically and mentally, too.
"His rehab is going really well," Kerr said to reporters. "His knee is feeling good. His spirits are up, he's bouncing around practice -- high energy. He's getting ready to play with some contact. It's exciting just to see a smile on his face and to see him back after this long of an absence.
"I'm thrilled for him and I'm thrilled for us, too."
The Warriors selected Wiseman with the No. 2 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, and his rookie year was full of highs and lows. He played 39 games and started 27. Before his season was cut short, Wiseman averaged 11.5 points and 5.8 rebounds while playing 21.4 minutes per game.
Kerr and the rest of the Warriors' staff had a tough time juggling Wiseman's development and doing what's best to win games, causing plenty of outside questions on how the 7-footer fit Golden State.
Throughout the rehab process, Kerr has maintained how proud he is of Wiseman. The now 20-year-old played only three college games before dealing with an injury and COVID-19 ahead of last season, interrupting a normal ramp-up for a rookie. He then dealt with more than one injury his first year in the league, including the one to his right knee that has kept him sidelined since April of last year.
The Warriors have kept a long-term view on the former top draft pick throughout his comeback, and Kerr sees much brighter days in Wiseman's near future and can't wait to see him back on the court.
"With that size and that skill and being such a good, diligent worker ... no doubt in my mind that James is going to have a great career," Kerr said.