Chuck Hayes could return to action for the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday against the Denver Nuggets, Grant Napear reported during the team's game against the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday. Hayes has been out a couple weeks with a separated shoulder, leaving J.J. Hickson and Jason Thompson to take over his spot. Hayes was injured in Keith Smart's first game at the helm of the Kings, and as such hasn't been able to play under him more than a few minutes. Hayes has been with the team, though, and practiced with the club on Thursday in San Antonio.
Napear said during the Saturday broadcast that if Hayes doesn't make his return on Wednesday, he'd likely play on Saturday against the Utah Jazz. It's unclear whether Smart plans to re-introduce him slowly or thrust him right back into the starting five next to DeMarcus Cousins. Hayes' return likely means fewer minutes for Hickson and Donte Greene, has been playing some smallball four. Smart has frequently relied on tiny lineups with Francisco Garcia or John Salmons at power forward.