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Kerr hopes Wiseman advances to contact drills in next week originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

James Wiseman‘s recovery from right meniscus surgery in April has taken longer than expected, but the Warriors are hoping the 20-year-old can take a big step in the next week or so.

While Wiseman hasn’t progressed to contact drills in practice, he could be cleared to do so after the Warriors’ upcoming two-game road trip to Denver and Utah.

“He’s on the court right now with [VP of player health and performance] Rick [Celebrini],” Warriors coach Steve Kerr told reporters before Tuesday’s game against the Nuggets. “We haven’t had any practices. We’re debating whether he would come on the trip [to Denver] tomorrow. I think we would have had COVID not become such a factor.

“Now it seems more likely that he will stay and not expose [himself] to the road. So if he stays, he’ll do some individual work and then hopefully contact when we come back.”

The Warriors play in Denver on Thursday and then head to Utah for a game against the Jazz on Saturday before returning home.

Three weeks ago, Kerr expressed sadness that Wiseman still isn’t on the court.

“I just feel bad for James because I am dying for him to get out there for his own well-being and improvement and where he is in his young career,” Kerr said on Dec. 6. “It’s just too young for something like this to happen. So I feel bad for him.”

Wiseman suffered the meniscal tear on April 10 against the Houston Rockets and underwent surgery five days later. The Warriors had hoped Wiseman would be ready for training camp, but more than two months into the season, the 2020 No 2 overall draft pick isn’t even doing contact drills yet.

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With the Warriors off to a 27-6 start heading into Tuesday’s game, they have the luxury of taking their time with Wiseman. And by doing so, they are taking a big-picture outlook at his rehab.

But the Warriors know they will need Wiseman’s size as they look to navigate the Western Conference over the next few months and in April once the playoffs roll around.

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