Golden State Warriors young big man James Wiseman has been out since April of 2021, having gone down with a meniscus tear in his right knee in his rookie season.
The Warriors were initially hopeful that Wiseman would be ready for the start of this season. Unfortunately, he’s been met with several hurdles and still has not been cleared for contact. Before Thursday night’s frustrating overtime loss to the Indiana Pacers, head coach Steve Kerr was asked about Wiseman’s recovery process and voiced frustration for him.
“Several times I’ve said, ‘Yeah, we were hoping he would have contact in the next week,’ and then he didn’t for one reason or another,” Kerr said. “Then he had the swelling in his knee, then he had the procedure to flush the swelling out. So, there’s just been this extended time where he’s been out that has been most frustrating for him.
“The beat goes on. We’re still very hopeful that this is all going to happen, that he’s going to be out there soon in contact circumstances in practice. But at this point, I’m also aware that I’m ‘the boy who cried wolf’ a little bit.”
When Will Wiseman Return?
The Warriors still don’t have a return date for Wiseman. He underwent arthroscopic knee surgery in December that has prolonged his return. The team has been waiting for him to be cleared for contact, so that he can scrimmage and get his conditioning back up.
The Warriors haven’t been able to practice recently because of their schedule and likely won’t practice again until Monday. Even with all the delays, Kerr still says the team is hopeful for his return.
“And I know this whole process has been frustrating for James, above all,” Kerr said, “but also for (media) because you’re looking for answers, and for me because I’ve told you three different times that I thought he was going to have contact the next week and each time it was pushed back. This has just not been an easy one to figure out.
“We’re still hopeful that he’s going to be cleared for contact soon, but there hasn’t been an opportunity for that to happen this week.”
It’s certainly good news that Kerr and the Warriors are still hopeful for Wiseman’s return, but it’s fair to wonder how much of a role he’ll get to play this season. With the team already past the half way point of the season and Wiseman still not scrimmaging, it’ll be some time before he’s in game shape.
At the earliest Wiseman could return to practice next week, but even in that best case scenario it would probably be weeks before he’s ready to play in a game for the Warriors. With the patient approach to team has taken to his recovery, it looks like the earliest Wiseman could return is either just before or after the All-Star break.
That return date guess is obviously a best case scenario and would only be possible if there are no more setbacks with Wiseman. Hopefully he’ll be able to return sooner rather than later and will be able to contribute for the Warriors by the time the postseason rolls around.