The Washington Wizards will open 2021-22 training camp on Tuesday, but appear set to do so without Rui Hachimura, their projected starting power forward. Hachimura, according to the Athletic, is out indefinitely due to personal reasons.
Personal reasons could mean a lot of different things and, given they are personal in nature, it's both unfair to speculate and possible the reasons why will not be revealed publicly. But for the Wizards' purposes, this puts them in line to begin training camp without one of their most important players, a trend that has in various ways plagued them in recent years.
Last season, they started out with Robin Lopez away from the team and then had Russell Westbrook injure his quadriceps muscle. The latter helped contribute to a slow start to the season.
Before the 2018-19 season, Dwight Howard showed up to training camp with a previously undisclosed back injury. It derailed his season and, by extension, any hopes the Wizards had of making the playoffs.
Days before 2017-18 training camp, Markieff Morris had surgery to repair a sports hernia. And the year before, Ian Mahinmi hurt his knee during the preseason after signing with the team as their top free agent acquisition.
How long Hachimura will be out remains unclear. Maybe he doesn't miss much time at all. But this also follows a personal trend for his career so far. Hachimura has missed about a quarter of the Wizards' games through his first two NBA seasons, mostly due to non-basketball ailments like Covid-19 protocol, conjunctivitis in his eyes and an inadverdent kick to the groin by a teammate.
Hachimura, 23, is gearing up for an important season as next summer he will be eligible for a contract extension for the first time. That's a long way away, but for now the Wizards will surely be monitoring closely the status of one of their key players.