WASHINGTON -- The Wizards are expected to get one of their best players back on Saturday against the Brooklyn Nets, as rookie standout Rui Hachimura is nearly healed from the groin injury that has kept him out for six weeks.
Hachimura, 21, first suffered the injury on Dec. 16 in a game against the Detroit Pistons when his teammate, Isaac Bonga, accidentally kicked him between the legs. Hachimura required a small procedure and has since slowly worked his way back.
Now he's almost there.
"Rui has a great chance of coming back Saturday night," head coach Scott Brooks said. "I don't know if he's going to start right away, I haven't heard the minutes yet. But if things keep going well as they have been, there's a great chance."
Brooks indicated Hachimura will have to check off some final boxes at Friday's practice. He has recently been working himself into game shape after taking so much time off.
The timing will be good for Hachimura if he comes back Saturday. That would give him six games before the All-Star break where he is likely to be chosen as a participant in the Rising Stars Game.
Hachimura is averaging 13.9 points and 5.8 rebounds per game. If he is chosen for the Rising Stars showcase, he will represent Japanese basketball on the All-Star stage, which would be a special event for basketball fans in his home country.
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