RICHMOND — It took just three days for the Washington Wizards to experience their first training camp injury. On Thursday, backup point guard Tim Frazier suffered a mild groin strain, described as “Grade 1″ by Coach Scott Brooks.
Frazier, who came to the Wizards via a draft-day trade with the New Orleans Pelicans to play behind all-star John Wall, is expected to remain off the court at least until the end of training camp in Richmond on Saturday.
“I don’t anticipate him practicing [Friday], probably not even the next day either,” Brooks said. “We’ll evaluate him and see how he feels in the next couple of days.”
The injury occurred during practice, making Frazier the latest Wizard to need recovery time before the team plays its first preseason game on Oct. 2.
Markieff Morris is not with the team as he stands trial for aggravated assault in Phoenix, but even if he was present he would remain sidelined after having sports hernia surgery last Friday. Rookie Devin Robinson, who was signed as a two-way player expected to spend most of the season in the NBA G-League, is dealing with a left foot injury.
Despite the small yet growing list of injuries, the Wizards had viewed themselves as healthy and ready for a promising start to the 2017-18 season. Earlier in camp, Bradley Beal said Washington should show growth in the second year under Brooks’s system, using team health as an example.
“Now, this year we have absolutely no excuse,” Beal said, referring to the team getting off to a better start than last year’s 2-8 record. “We’re healthy. We got all of our guys. We’ve got depth at each position, so it’s imperative that we do that. That was the cause of us not having a 50-win season last season, so I think if we get off to a better start and throughout the year that will definitely carry over to the playoffs, home court and everything that comes with it.”
Frazier is part of the revamped Wizards bench, an area that was much maligned through last season. His injury will affect, at least over several practices, some early preseason opportunities for the bench to gain chemistry.
Entering his fourth NBA season since going undrafted out of Penn State in 2014, Frazier brings career averages of 6.2 points and 4.4 assists. Last season in New Orleans, he started 35 games for the Pelicans, increasing those numbers to 7.1 points and 5.2 assists per game. The Wizards acquired him in exchange for the 52nd pick in the draft.