Rarely injured, Corey Kispert optimistic about sprained ankle recovery

Kispert optimistic about sprained ankle recovery originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

WASHINGTON — When the Wizards drafted Corey Kispert in 2021, one of his biggest selling points was his experience, as a 4-year college player. But one area he does not have much experience in is rehabbing an injury.

Kispert has admittedly been lucky throughout his basketball life. That good-luck streak, however, finally caught up to him during the Wizards’ trip to Japan when he suffered a sprained left ankle on a layup attempt. He will now miss approximately 4-to-6 weeks, which could keep him out roughly a dozen games to start the regular season.

Kispert says the last time he had an injury anything close to this severe was his freshman year at Gonzaga. It was also an ankle injury, but because the college schedule is more sparse, he only missed two games. The last time he missed extended time was his senior year in high school when he broke his foot. That injury kept him out about half of the season.

Kispert could tell something was different this time around.

“You know when something is wrong right away. Immediately I knew and went back to the locker room and it ended up being the best decision,” he said.

Kispert would then have to endure a 12-hour flight from D.C. to Tokyo. He said he got treatment in the air, but it was not an ideal way to begin his recovery.

The fact he would have to sit through a long flight dawned on him shortly after he got hurt.

“I had all sorts of treatment devices just laying out in the aisle. I felt bad for the flight attendants having to step over that, but they were really gracious and understood,” he said.

Kispert, 23, says his primary focus is recovering as soon as possible. He is not concerned about staying sharp with his jump shot as he believes his shooting touch will not go away due to a weeks-long layoff.

As of now, he can shoot free throws, but that’s about it on the court. The best prescription is time to heal.

Head coach Wes Unseld Jr. noted after the news came out how Kispert was in good spirits despite the setback as he enters his second NBA season. Kispert explained why when he met with reporters.

“Well, it’s not going to last forever, right? In the grand scheme of things, a sprained ankle is not the end of the world,” he said. “It’s been a tough last couple of days. Getting out of bed and moving around has been difficult, but I know I’ll be back sooner rather than later. Thankfully I’m not missing important games down the stretch. The preseason is important, but if I were to choose a time to miss, it’d be now.”

There are indeed some silver linings, as it could be worse. But Kispert’s production won’t be easy for the Wizards to replace, as 3-point shooting has been a weakness for them. They made the fewest threes in the league last season and were 26th in percentage.

Kispert shot 35% from three last season, roughly league average (35.4%), but has a good chance of raising that number this year. He shot 38.6% from deep after the All-Star break in 2021-22.

Kispert will get his chance to show improvement year-over-year. He will just have to wait some time in order to do so.

This article was written by WTOP’s news partner, NBC Sports Washington. Sign up for NBC Sports Washington’s free email subscription today.

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