Even though Japan has yet to pick up a win at the FIBA World Cup, Rui Hachimura got off to a solid start in China this week.
His run, though, is getting cut short.
The Washington Wizards and the Japanese Basketball Association announced on Thursday that Hachimura will not play in Japan’s final two games in the tournament due to “knee discomfort and general fatigue.”
“The Wizards and Japan Basketball have been operating under a carefully created load management plan to protect Rui’s health after a long NCAA season, the NBA draft and the NBA summer league,” the Japanese Basketball Association said Thursday. “Rui experienced knee discomfort and general fatigue during the World Cup, which we have jointly monitored with the Wizards.”
The former Gonzaga star averaged 18 points per game in Japan’s first two outings at the World Cup, though was held to just four points in its 98-45 loss to the United States on Thursday.
He did, though, throw down on Myles Turner in the third quarter.
The Wizards, who selected Hachimura with the No. 9 overall pick in June, clearly want to protect their newest member — and want him to be ready for training camp later this month. With Japan still searching for a win in China, and Hachimura both tired and dealing with a tweaked knee, sitting him now only makes sense.
“I love Team Japan. This was a difficult decision for the Wizards, Japan Basketball and myself to make,” Hachimura said. “I am still learning about my body and trust that the Wizards and Japan Basketball are doing everything they can to help me be the best I can be for the NBA season and the 2020 Olympics.”
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