WASHINGTON -- When Wizards rookie Rui Hachimura first went down with a groin injury and underwent a minor procedure, the team said he would miss at least five games before getting re-evaluated. He has since missed seven and now several more weeks can be tacked on to his return timeline.
Head coach Scott Brooks revealed that after the team's practice on Tuesday, suggesting Hachimura would again be re-evaluated sometime in early- to mid-January. Hachimura, 21, has not only been held out games, he hasn't been with the team.
Brooks expects that last part to change soon, but Hachimura is currently at home resting with his groin area still very sore. And when he does rejoin the team, Brooks said he might not be sitting on the bench.
Brooks and general manager Tommy Sheppard went to visit Hachimura at his home last week and Brooks says he's doing well, all things considered.
"He's in good spirits," Brooks said. "I try to keep in contact with him as much as we can."
Hachimura suffered the injury when he was inadvertently kicked between the legs by teammate Isaac Bonga during a game against the Detroit Pistons on Dec. 16. Since, he has not been with the team in any visible way; at games or at practices. Whether he has spent any time at their facility in the past two weeks-plus is unclear.
Brooks, though, said Hachimura is able to walk despite the soreness. He just isn't around the team.
"We miss him. We miss his enthusiasm, we miss his game and we miss his presence," Brooks said.
Teammate Ish Smith echoed that sentiment, saying he looks forward to Hachimura being back with the team, even if he isn't ready to play.
"I haven't been able to see him. I miss my guy, man," Smith said. "I know that's a sensitive area and a sensitive situation. I just want him to get his rest and make sure he's good to come back 100 percent."
Hachimura has started 25 games for the Wizards this season after joining them as the ninth overall pick in June. He is averaging 13.9 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game.
There were two other injury updates at Tuesday's practice. One is good, that Bradley Beal practiced and is "moving in the right direction" towards a potential return on Wednesday, according to Brooks. But there was also bad news about center Moe Wagner, who is expected to in a walking boot for another week and then, per Brooks, could take up to two weeks to get back into shape after that.
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