Warriors Give Major Update on Return Date for Their Young Big Man

James Wiseman

Getty James Wiseman dribbles the ball in a game against the Philadelphia 76ers.

The Golden State Warriors are growing ever closer to the return of their young big man.

The team this week gave an update on the rehab timeline for second-year center James Wiseman, who has been out since last April after undergoing surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee. After months of rehab, it appears that his return is now just a matter of days away.

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Wiseman Almost Back

Warriors head coach Steve Kerr gave an update on the timeline for Wiseman’s return, saying that he won’t be with the team for an upcoming four-game road trip but could get some action with the G League Santa Cruz Warriors during that time.

“He could be there, or we could bring them up here,” Kerr said, via NBC Sports Bay Area’s Monte Poole. “We have additional people who can come in and play as well, locally, so we’ll be creative.”

As Poole noted, the timeline means that Wiseman may be able to take the court with his teammates by Thanksgiving week, when the Warriors have a two-game trip to play the Los Angeles Clippers and Phoenix Suns.

Wiseman had already been cleared to fully return to practice, and has progressed through his rehab without a hitch. Kerr stressed that it’s still a slow process, but he’s pleased with the way Wiseman has bounced back.

“It’s been an incremental approach, so there hasn’t been that ‘ah-ha’ moment where he just took this leap,” Kerr said. “We’ve been purposely deliberate the last couple of months and just slowly ramping things up. He’s moving well and he’s engaged in a lot of drill work in practice and doing 5-on-0 stuff. He’s getting a lot of work in and he’s feeling good.”

Wiseman’s teammates are already preparing for his return. The 20-year-old center has been on the bench during games, and has gotten some in-game insight from Steph Curry about his role in the offense when he returns.

More Happy Returns

While the return of Wiseman is on the immediate horizon, the Warriors have at least a few more weeks before another star steps back onto the court. Klay Thompson is in the final stages of rehab for a torn Achilles that wiped out his entire 2020-21 season, and could be moving slightly ahead of schedule.

Recent projections had Thompson returning as late as January, but ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said on “NBA Countdown” on Wednesday that he could actually be back on the court before Christmas.

“I’m told if he continues on his current course right now in rehab, that a target date for his return will be set probably within the next couple weeks,” Wojnarowski said, via NBC Sports Bay Area. “And it could be –there’s optimism it could be as soon as December 20, December 23. The Warriors have home games before Christmas, and so the plan for Klay Thompson is to continue to ramp up.”

Even without the services of Wiseman and Thompson, the Warriors have managed to excel on the court this season en route to a league-best 10-1 start.

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