Second-year center James Wiseman still hasn’t been cleared for scrimmaging, GSW coach Steve Kerr said, and it’s unlikely he returns before 2022.
Wiseman, 20, hasn’t played since suffering a torn meniscus on April 10. He’d been reportedly progressing closer to a return — at one point Thanksgiving appeared to be in the cards — but his rehab has stagnated.
Asked directly if Wiseman will return before the New Year, Kerr didn’t officially rule anything out, but intimated bad news for Golden State.
“Where are we? December 6? He hasn’t scrimmaged yet, by the time he comes back and scrimmages, and it’s going to take some time for there, you guys can do the math. I don’t want to be a headline,” Kerr said.
Wiseman has been doing individual on-court work for about two weeks. In the past, Kerr has compared his knee injury to that of Jaren Jackson Jr., who needed eight months to return to action after his meniscus surgery. For Wiseman, eight months would be mid to late December.
It’s unclear if Wiseman has experienced a setback. With how well the Warriors have been playing, there’s no reason to rush him back before he’s 100% ready.
The forward averaged 11.5 points and 5.8 rebounds in 21.4 minutes per game last year as a rookie. Kerr said Wiseman’s extended rehab “hasn’t changed anything” about how he plans to utilize the dynamic 7-footer.
“More than anything, I just feel bad for James because I’m dying for him to get out there for his own well-being and improvement and you know, where he is in his young career,” Kerr said. “He’s too young for something like this to happen. So I feel bad for him. But he’s maintained a really good attitude and he comes in everyday and he gets his work in. Whenever he gets out there, he’ll get out there and we’ll assess at that point how we want to use him and how much we want to throw at him.”
- Andre Iguodala will miss his 10th straight game with knee soreness on Monday night, though Kerr said he’s making progress. The 37-year old has been getting shots up for the past four or five days and “should be playing soon,” Kerr said.
- Klay Thompson has continued to ramp up his rehab each week, Kerr said. Unlike Wiseman, Thompson has been scrimmaging, at first in four-minute bursts, to build his stamina. Thompson will not travel with the Warriors on their upcoming road trip, though.