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Warriors News: Jonathan Kuminga Cleared to Return to Practice After Knee Injury

Doric SamOctober 24, 2021

Golden State Warriors forward Jonathan Kuminga, middle, dribbles between Denver Nuggets forward Jeff Green (32) and guard Bones Hyland during a preseason NBA basketball game in San Francisco, Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2021. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

Jonathan Kuminga is reportedly close to making his NBA regular-season debut.

The Athletic's Anthony Slater reported Kuminga, the No. 7 pick in the 2021 draft, has been cleared to return to practice as he works his way back from a strained patella but will miss the next three games.

Kuminga is known for reclassifying to the class of 2020, forgoing his college eligibility and signing a one-year deal with the NBA G League Ignite. According to 247Sports, he was the No. 1 small forward in the country and the No. 4 player overall. The 5-star Congolese native turned down offers from Duke and Kentucky, among other schools.

A versatile forward with strong defensive skills, Kuminga averaged 15.8 points and 7.2 rebounds in 13 games for the Ignite but is still pretty raw at 19 years old.

Currently, he isn't the only player on the shelf for Golden State.

Klay Thompson, who hasn't played in two years after tearing his ACL and Achilles, is expected to return to practice in about a month. Second-year center James Wiseman is still recovering from meniscus surgery.

With a roster led by veterans such as Andre Iguodala (37), Stephen Curry (33), Nemanja Bjelica (33), Thompson (31), Draymond Green (31) and Andrew Wiggins (26), the Warriors are built to win now and will likely not be giving extended playing time to their younger guys. Rookie Moses Moody, the No. 14 overall pick, has only played nine total minutes in Golden State's first two games.

The Warriors will seek a 3-0 start to the season Sunday in a road matchup against the Sacramento Kings.

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