Day two of Kevin Seraphin's return to practice went well, better than day one. If the trajectory continues, expect the center to play in the Wizards regular season home opener Saturday night against Boston.
"I’m ready to play tomorrow so tomorrow I will play," an all smiles Seraphin said following Friday's practice. "Now I’m ready to play good and help my team on defense and offense."
Out since straining his right calf on Oct. 13 in a preseason win over Cleveland, Seraphin's recovery is apparently ahead of schedule. While the team had been vague when asked about the third-year center's projected return, Seraphin said, "I’m supposed to be out like four weeks, and [now] just two weeks. I’m just cool. I’m just good."
That is good, especially since it remains unclear when the short-handed Wizards will have the services of Nene (foot), the team's primary interior option. Certainly not for Saturday's home opener against the Celtics (7:00 p.m., Comcast SportsNet) and their ageless center Kevin Garnett. John Wall (knee) is not projected back until around Thanksgiving.
In between the most recent practice sessions, Seraphin required some maintenance.
"The first practice, yeah, I was a little bit tightness because I have like blood between my muscle in my calf. So yesterday, we go to hospital to pull it out," the 6-foot-10 center said. "Now I feel good. But the first one, yeah, I feel a little bit tight. But I only play half court so that was cool. No full court.
Following that descriptive medical procedure nugget, Seraphin was asked whether he's truly ready or is simply anxious to return and thus is convincing himself he's good to go.
Seraphin: "I really feel ready because I practice. I have to practice to see, like a test, and I did great. I can play. I can run. I just can play. I think so I am ready. I’m don’t try to convince myself I’m ready, but my body and me, we know we’re ready."
His youngest teammate concurs.
"Kevin looked good," 19-year-old Bradley Beal said. "He probably has to get back in shape, he's been out for a while, he'll lose some wind. But he's posting hard, he's finishing, he's been doing the same things that he was doing before he got injured so we're happy to have him back and he's going to bring in good minutes for us. We're short at the big man position, we're glad to have him back."
As for how many minutes Seraphin will see against Garnett and the Celtics, much depends on how the injury holds up overnight.
"He practiced yesterday, not any soreness today," Wittman said on Friday. "But we have to see tomorrow. Again. You never know that second or third day how it feels. We’ll monitor that, then I’ll talk to the doctors before the game to get a grasp of if there will need to be a minute thing. I haven’t talked to them. I can’t really answer that question. Hopefully not, but there might be."
After a trying rookie campaign, Seraphin showed he was indeed ready for the NBA during the second half of last season, averaging 15.5 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.7 blocks over the final 15 games. His quality low post moves and shooting touch will boost the offensively-challenged Wizards' scoring and open up space for Beal and other perimeter options. No doubt his presence on the glass will be welcomed, especially after being dominated on the boards in the season opening loss at Cleveland. Seraphin certainly is aware he's a main cog.
"My toughness inside, my defense. Everything I do. I play defense, I’m a big part in offense now and on defense, my presence inside, and just with my teammates."