Kings Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Sacramento Kings and the NBA.

January 24, 2012
Tuesday practice: Hayes cleared for contact

Kings head coach Keith Smart addresses the media following Tuesday's practice.

Kings forward-center Chuck Hayes practiced full-contact today -- the latest step in his recovery from dislocating his left shoulder against the Milwaukee Bucks on Jan. 5.

Hayes wore a protective sleeve on the shoulder and said afterward that the shoulder "felt good."

"We did some contact drills where I had to engage my shoulder muscles and see if it'll hold up with some resistance, and it felt good," Hayes said. "Now I just think it's the mental standpoint now, just trusting the rehab, trusting the doctors and trusting the treatment that my shoulder's OK."

Kings head coach Keith Smart said the team does not have a timetable for when Hayes will be available to play.

"We had some little concept things to do (at Tuesday's practice) and stayed pretty much in half-court, but it gave him a chance to get on the floor," Smart said. "He's been conditioning with the strength and conditioning coaches, but it gave him an opportunity to get on the floor, get contact, get a bump against it and see how it felt. Right now it's OK, we'll see how it feels in the morning."

* Guard Marcus Thornton (left thigh contusion) did not practice and is not expected to be available Wednesday when the Kings play the Denver Nuggets at home.

"I don't think he's going to be ready for a little bit," Smart said.

DeMarcus Cousins, who rolled his ankle in the Kings' loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday night, and Tyreke Evans, nursing an ankle sprain from a few days ago, also did not practice, Smart said. Smart said both players would "still do something in the gym."

* The Kings recalled rookie forward Tyler Honeycutt from the Reno Bighorns of the Development League, the team announced today. Honeycutt, who averaged 12.7 minutes in 10 games for the Bighorns after being assigned to Reno earlier this month, practiced with the Kings at their afternoon session.

"I think it's good for him," Smart said. "It's a new situation for him to come back in and start learning our way, how we want to do things for him. And he brings a lot to the table with his energy, with his length, his hustle. So we're going to keep working him, get him up to speed on what we're doing, and then eventually, hopefully, get him to where he can play and know what we're trying to do on the floor."

-- Matt Kawahara



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