After a weeks-long absence due to personal reasons, Rui Hachimura is expected to be cleared from health and safety protocols within the next few days, according to Wizards head coach Wes Unseld Jr. That would mean he could join the team in practice to begin working towards his return to game action.
Hachimura, 23, landed in Washington this week before entering quarantine. The news he was taking time off broke just days before the Wizards began training camp on Sept. 28.
Hachimura will miss the entirety of the Wizards' preseason and may also sit some games to begin the regular season, as the team works him back into game conditioning. Unseld Jr. said the team will begin with Hachimura in individual drills and go from there with incremental steps.
Hachimura will have to adjust to a new coaching staff, a new playbook and new teammates. Because of that, Unseld Jr. and his assistants have prepared some film he can watch to help the process.
"I don’t think [him catching up] is way down the line. We already have some edits that we’ll send to him. Obviously, when he’s ready we’ll spend some time away from the court to try to help him get back up to speed. That in itself is going to take some time," Unseld Jr. said.
Hachimura is entering his third season after being selected by the Wizards with the ninth overall pick in 2019. He was the team's third-leading scorer last season, averaging 13.8 points and 5.5 rebounds per game.
If Hachimura is not ready to begin the regular season, which is likely at this point, Kyle Kuzma is the Wizards' projected starter at the four-spot in his place.