Wizards fans have been eagerly waiting for their once starting center, Thomas Bryant, to return from injury for nearly eight months now. Washington’s big man suffered a torn ACL two minutes into a game vs. the Miami Heat on Jan. 9 and has been in the midst of a recovery process ever since.
Now, Bryant is nearing his return to the NBA. His agent, Todd Ramasar, gave an update to Sirius XM NBA Radio this week.
“He’s doing great. He’s right on track in terms of his recovery,” Ramasar said. “If I’m guestimating in talking to his trainers, he’s probably going to make a return towards the end of this [calendar 2021] year, or let’s say, the beginning of the regular season.”
Bryant was in his third year in the nation’s capital when he suffered his injury. Prior to going down vs. Miami, Bryant was Washington’s undisputed starting center, averaging 14.3 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game in all ten of the Wizards’ games to that point.
Washington fans will be ecstatic to hear the good news of Bryant’s recovery, as the 24-year-old big man has not yet entered his prime. He was known for his on-court energy and tenacity when leading the Wizards’ frontcourt, often being the ‘hype man’ of the team. Still, Washington will not rush Bryant’s return to the court, his agent said.
“Obviously they’re going to be testing his strength to see where he’s at so there’s no relapse in his rehab,” Ramasar said. “He’s doing great overall, he’s back on the court, he’s getting a lot of reps on his jump shot. It’s good to see him actually dunking in the last two weeks.”
Dunking: that’s Bryant’s calling card. At 6-foot-10, Bryant often finds himself the recipient of lobs from Wizards guards or bodying opposing defenders in the paint to get to the cup.
The Wizards had a ‘three-headed monster’ at the center position last season with new arrivals Daniel Gafford, Alex Len and Robin Lopez. But with the latter two now gone after free agency, Washington will look to replicate that depth and even surpass it with Bryant, Gafford and the recently acquired Montrezl Harrell. Each of those three are good rim protectors with unique sets of offensive skills, and when blended together, they could make for a very exciting year in D.C. Bryant’s agent offered more specifics on his timeline to return.
“It’s obviously just a process in terms of just strengthening that leg and getting his conditioning up, but he’s going to be rejoining the team here in the next few weeks, and then slowly getting integrated into practices before he’s cleared to play.”