Washington Wizards rookie forward Otto Porter participated in practice on Monday. This was his first practice of his NBA career, as he missed all of training camp and the start of the regular season after suffering a strained right hip flexor in a mid-September pickup game.
Updates about the No. 3 overall pick had been few and far between up until this point, and Porter said he understood Wizards fans' frustrations about that and having setbacks wasn't easy for him, either, via Michael Lee of the Washington Post:
"One of your players go down hurt, you want to know how he's doing day-to-day. It's a lot of work you've got to put into it," Porter said. "It was frustrating at times, where I felt like I was getting ready to go over that hump and something else kind of knocked me back down."
Washington head coach Randy Wittman said he was pleasantly surprised that the rookie could participate and it will take some time to get him up to speed:
Wittman said Porter "looked like he's been out three and a half months" but wanted to see how far along he is and get a taste of some live action. "He's got to get out there now and get his legs under him from a conditioning standpoint, number 1. number 2, getting familiar with what we're doing. It's easy to sit there and think as you're watching, what's going on. But now, as it's game speed and action, so he's not very familiar yet with what we're doing. That's going to be a big key for him to get out, repetition, conditioning, because the last thing you want to do is throw him out and he gets hurt again. Those are kind of things you stay away from. You've got to get him in shape and see what happens."
Porter said he didn't think the injury would keep him out this long and he doesn't know when he'll play his first game:
Otto on when he expects to make his season debut: "If I knew, I’d tell you. I don’t know...I got to take it one day at a time." #wizards— Michael Lee (@MrMichaelLee) November 25, 2013
Video of Porter's scrum can be found on the Wizards' website. In other good news on the injury front, Washington will welcome forward Trevor Ariza (hamstring) back to the starting lineup on Tuesday against the Los Angeles Lakers. Forward Chris Singleton (foot) also returned to practice, but his return date has yet to be determined. The Wizards are 5-8 on the season.