Storyline: Markieff Morris Injury

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Washington Wizards forward Markieff Morris is back for the first time since undergoing hernia surgery on Sept. 22. The power forward just won’t be on the court quite yet. Morris will serve a one-game suspension Wednesday as the Wizards return home to face the Phoenix Suns, a source tells FanRag Sports. The NBA handed down the suspension for leaving Washington’s bench during a tussle in Friday’s road loss against the Golden State Warriors. The 6’10” Morris needed to be cleared by an independent doctor before he could begin serving the suspension. Sitting out Wednesday means he’ll be available for Friday’s anticipated showdown against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Inside the UCLA Student Activities Center gym, Morris participated in a full-court game along with teammates Jason Smith, Carrick Felix and Devin Robinson. Although Coach Scott Brooks joked that the game should have been described as “3 1/2 on 3 1/2,” noting that undersized team staffers had to jump in to fill out the rosters, he was impressed while watching Morris through the workout. “He hit a couple of game winners. He’s going pretty hard and he’s feeling great,” Brooks said. “It’s the next step of his progress and return to play.”

Morris, who has not played this season, scored, defended and ran without complications Tuesday. Brooks, however, does not expect he’ll return before the end of the team’s four-game West Coast trip. The Wizards played the Lakers on Wednesday night and face defending champion Golden State on Friday, which will mark the fifth week into Morris’s recovery timeline. The Wizards announced Morris would miss six to eight weeks following his Sept. 22 surgery. If Morris continues to improve, he could return as early as Nov. 1 when the Wizards host the Phoenix Suns or Nov. 3 against the Cleveland Cavaliers. “He’s definitely moving in the right direction,” Brooks said.

Morris, 28, will undergo sports hernia surgery Friday in St. Louis, according to several people with knowledge of the situation. While the timeline for his return to basketball activities is undetermined until surgery is complete, it should be expected that Morris will miss at least Wizards training camp, which begins Tuesday in Richmond. Morris recently received the diagnosis for surgery, according to a source, after spending parts of the summer working out in preparation for the upcoming season.

Markieff Morris has needed round-the-clock treatment after spraining his left ankle during the Washington Wizards’ 123-111 loss to the Boston Celtics in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals on Sunday afternoon. However, Morris announced he will be ready for Game 2 on Tuesday night. “I’m playing tomorrow. It’s final,” Morris said with conviction Monday afternoon. “There’s nothing the doctors can say to me for me not to be able to play.”
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