Just one game after making his regular season debut, Ian Mahinmi is back on the Wizards’ injury list.
On Monday, Mahinmi, 30, missed Washington’s matchup against the Sacramento Kings. According to Coach Scott Brooks, Mahinmi, who appeared for 14 minutes Saturday night, is experiencing soreness in his right, non-surgical knee. Mahinmi missed the past six weeks after the repair of a partially torn medial mensicus in his left knee. Mahinmi did not participate in the team’s Monday morning shoot-around.
“Just going to be cautious,” Brooks said. “He’s done a great job of putting himself in a position to come back from surgery and he’s just been sore the last couple of days. It’s day to day. We’ll see how feels tomorrow.”
Less than two hours before the game, Brooks made the surprising announcement that Mahinmi would join injured rookie Danuel House on the inactive list. Though Brooks praised Mahinmi’s journey to rehabilitate from his previous injury, the news disrupts any forward momentum the Wizards had built in his brief return.
Washington lured Mahinmi to the team with a four-year, $64 million contract, with the goal of replacing the oft-injured Nene. The Mahinmi signing was to bolster the front-court depth behind 32-year-old starter Marcin Gortat, since Mahinmi provides better rim protection. However, with Mahinmi back again wearing street clothes as well as the label “day-to-day,” the Wizards’ rotation remains unsettled.
“With some of guys coming back from injury, not being able to play back to back, monitoring minutes, that’s just the way it is now,” Brooks said. “I think it’s very wise on our part to do this early and so hopefully it’ll all come together and we can just worry about playing your minutes hard and not worrying about monitoring minutes, and just focus on playing good basketball on both ends of the floor.
“But with Ian out it’s definitely not the fun part of my job — to manage guys in and out,” Brooks said, “but that’s the way it is, it’s part of sport, injuries.”