Wizards' Mahinmi takes step in rehab, Morris misses practice


Sunday's practice at the Verizon Center brought injury updates for two Wizards big men as they look ahead to Monday's matchup against the Phoenix Suns.

Power forward Markieff Morris, who left Saturday night's game against the Heat after twisting his right ankle, did not participate in practice. After sounding confident that he would both practice and play in Monday's game, Morris' availability is now somewhat in question.

"I don't know what his status will be tomorrow. He did say he's feeling a little better, but he's sore," head coach Scott Brooks said.

Morris, however, believes he will be fine.

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Morris is a key cog for the Wizards, who fell to 3-9 on the season after Saturday night's loss. He is fourth on the team in points (13.7 ppg), third in rebounds (6.5 rpg) and fifth in minutes (31 mpg). Morris has proven particularly valuable on the defensive end against power forwards who can stretch the floor with outside shots.

The other update was a positive step for center Ian Mahinmi, who continues to rehab from his Oct. 15 surgery to repair a partially torn meniscus. The Wizards' biggest offseason acquisition, Mahinmi practiced for the second straight day and this time ramped up his workload. 

"We did about 30 to 45 minutes and he responded well," Brooks said. "This is his first time doing some 4-on-4 and halfcourt. He did a little bit of 3-on-3 fullcourt for some conditioning. He looked great. I like what he brings to our team. He brings his defensive toughness. But we'll see how he responds tomorrow. It's always the next day when you come back from an injury. He looked good today."


Wizards guard Marcus Thornton observed Mahimni and shared his assessment.

"Ian, he's getting there. He's getting there. He's not there yet. He still has a little touching up to do. You take that long off in basketball, it takes a while to shape. He's looked good in the running part, but it's going to take a lot longer to get back into basketball shape," Thornton said.

Mahinmi signed a four-year, $64 million contract to join the Wizards as a free agent in July.