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Jordan McRae injury a tough setback for Wizards as others near return

Jordan McRae injury a tough setback for Wizards as others near return

Just as the Wizards are expecting to get several players back from injuries, another key member of their rotation has gone down as guard Jordan McRae has a mallet fracture in his right ring finger. 

McRae is due for sugery on Friday and will be re-evaluated early next week, according to the team. Given it is his shooting hand, one can surmise he could be out several weeks.

McRae, 28, injured his finger in the team's season opener on Wednesday night against the Mavericks. He scored 11 points in the game with five rebounds and three assists.

This is an unfortunate turn of events for McRae, who has found a good situation for himself in his second year with the Wizards. On a rebuilding roster, he has settled in as the primary back-up shooting guard behind Bradley Beal. The opportunity is there for him to do what he does best, which is provide scoring off the bench.

But now he will miss at least a few games and the Wizards do not have a perfect option to replace him as he and Beal are the only two-guards on the roster. They will have to rely more on Beal and put someone who isn't a natural shooting guard at that spot to spell him. Perhaps rookie Garrison Mathews gets some run after playing only 37 seconds on Wednesday.

The good news is that they should get some reinforcements and possibly as early as their next game, on Friday night against the Oklahoma City Thunder. C.J. Miles (foot), Isaiah Thomas (thumb) and Troy Brown Jr. (calf) are all on track to return soon.

None of them play shooting guard, but they should help give the Wizards some extra depth at the guard and wing positions while McRae recovers.

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Rookie Rui Hachimura does full practice with Wizards, return not far away

Rookie Rui Hachimura does full practice with Wizards, return not far away

WASHINGTON -- The long-awaited return of Wizards rookie Rui Hachimura is getting closer, as he participated in a full practice on Saturday for the first time since suffering a groin injury back on Dec. 16.

Hachimura, 21, had no limitations, per head coach Scott Brooks. He went through all of their drills and full-contact scrimmages.

"He did well. He went through everything. That's another good day," Brooks said.

The final hurdle for Hachimura at this point involves getting into game shape. His conditioning is not close to midseason form after missing seven weeks of games.

Brooks said Hachimura definitely will not return before the end of the team's current road trip, which ends on Tuesday in Milwaukee. After that, however, it could be a matter of days.

 

The Wizards will return to Washington after playing the Bucks for a six-game homestand. It seems likely he is back by the time it's over.

The ninth overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, Hachimura has had a strong rookie season so far, averaging 13.9 points and 5.8 rebounds per game while shooting 48.2 percent from the field. The Wizards have gone 7-12 since he's been out.

Hachimura suffered the injury when he was inadvertently kicked between the legs by teammate Isaac Bonga. He required a minor procedure and was away from the team for weeks before slowly working his way back to basketball activities and then participating in practices.

Saturday was a big step in his recovery and it now puts the finish line into focus.

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Watch: We mic'd up Thomas Bryant when he cheered on Indiana in matchup vs. Maryland

Watch: We mic'd up Thomas Bryant when he cheered on Indiana in matchup vs. Maryland

When the Maryland Terps faced Indiana for the first time in Big Ten play this season in early January, one famous former Hoosiers player sat in the stands cheering his team on. Wizards center Thomas Bryant allowed NBC Sports Washington to follow him throughout the game, where he showed his trademark enthusiasm for his former team. 

"It feels great," he said when asked by NBC Sports Washington's Chase Hughes how it feels to be watching his alma mater. "It seems like yesterday I was just playing against Maryland myself."

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Unfortunately for Bryant, the Hoosiers lost that game. But they'll get another shot at the Terps on Sunday. 

But Bryant, who will have his own game to suit up for when the Wizards take on the Hawks, won't be there to cheer. But when he did have the chance - he was vocal. After all, he told Hughes, that's just the type of fan and teammate he is.

"No matter if I'm out there or not, I'm going to be on my brother's side," he said.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Capitals and Wizards games easily from your device.

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