• Kyodo


Memphis Grizzlies rookie forward Yuta Watanabe, who is progressing through the NBA’s concussion protocol, said Thursday he can return to the court this weekend.

Watanabe, who attended George Washington University, had been listed as day-to-day after he suffered a blow to the head while playing in a Dec. 7 game with the Memphis Hustle, the Grizzlies’ NBA G League affiliate.

“I was cleared after today’s practice. I have had no problem making body contact,” said Watanabe, who was expected to join the team for Friday’s game against the Miami Heat and Saturday’s game against the Houston Rockets.

The 24-year-old, a Kagawa Prefecture native, signed a two-way contract with the Grizzlies in July, a deal that allows him to spend up to 45 days on the roster of the NBA team while developing in the second-tier league.

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