Wiseman ‘looked great' joining teammates in return to practice


SAN FRANCISCO – When the Warriors went through a non-contact practice Saturday morning at Chase Center, they were joined by a teammate whose presence brought a heightened sense of curiosity and anticipation to the proceedings.

Remember James Wiseman?

The 7-foot-1 center has not played since last April, when he underwent surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee. As the Warriors went through their first 53 games, Wiseman could do more than watch from a comfortable seat.

“He practiced today and looked great,” coach Steve Kerr said. “We didn’t have any contact, but he practiced with the guys. He picked up everything really quickly. This being James’ second season, he’s got a foundation of knowledge that’s going to be really important for him when he does get back on the floor.”

There is no projection for game activity, but Wiseman has been doing individual floor workouts all week. His return to the practice court with teammates suggests he might soon be able to do much more.

Guard Damion Lee, who has gone through ACL repairs on both knees, was encouraged by what he saw from Wiseman.

“That was a good step for him,” guard Damion Lee said. “The injury-rehab process, everything of that nature, I understand that. It’s something I’ve gone through in the past . . . so for him to just be back on the court, it was great. Just to see him happy, see him in good spirits.”

Wiseman initially was projected, optimistically, to return roughly six months after his mid-April surgery. That was pushed back to November and then, after some swelling, into December, when he the second procedure. The hope then was that he might return in a couple months.

Which would put Wiseman back on the court sometime this month, participating in full-contact sessions, after which he could be cleared to play within two or three weeks.

“However his progress continues to go, is how it’s going to go; I’m definitely not the one to put a timeline on it,” Lee said. “But it’s just good to see him back on the court and have that smile.”

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Kerr said last month that he no longer would offer projections on Wiseman’s return, something he did several times early this season. He avoided doing so on Saturday but clearly was impressed with what he saw during the workout.

“All the stuff we did today, he was really quick to pick up and looked really good,” he said. “He was happy to be out there and we were thrilled to have him.”

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