Rui Hachimura, the Washington Wizards forward and former Gonzaga standout who was off to a promising rookie season before taking a kick to the groin on Dec. 16, has not spent a lot of time around the arena while recovering.
Little has been shared about Hachimura’s injury, other than that the 21-year-old is “sore,” as Wizards head coach Scott Brooks has often said.
While Hachimura remained in his Southeast Washington neighborhood apartment Monday night as the Wizards closed out the calendar year with a rousing victory over the Miami Heat, the seventh straight game he’s sat out, Brooks finally revealed more about the extent of Hachimura’s recovery on Tuesday.
“He’s still out. He’s still sore, groin area. I anticipate him being out a couple of weeks,” Brooks said.
The latest timeline for Hachimura, who was expected to be reevaluated after sitting five games, means he could miss a month in total. The fluke injury occurred when teammate Isaac Bonga accidentally kicked Hachimura between the legs while going for a rebound against the Detroit Pistons.
Due to Hachimura’s healing process, he has sat at home. Brooks said that he and general manager Tommy Sheppard recently visited Hachimura. Coaches also text him and send game clips for him to watch. His absence has been felt inside the Wizards’ practice facility.
“I haven’t been able to see him,” teammate Ish Smith said. “I miss my guy, man. I miss his smile, I miss him just being around.”
Brooks used similar language to describe the absence.
“We miss him. We miss his enthusiasm. We miss his game. We miss his presence. I miss him,” the coach said. “I miss working with him and trying to get him better, but right now he’s out. Like I told him, he’s going to play 15 years in the league. If he misses a month in his rookie year, it’s not that big of a deal.”
When Hachimura does feel up to coming to the arena to support his teammates, Brooks said he likely will not sit on the bench.
“I saw him a couple days ago,” Brooks said. “He’s in good spirits. Obviously, he wants to be here with his team and play games.”
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