Freshman forward expects cast on his broken right wrist will come off Thursday.

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The cast that covered Marquese Chriss’ fractured right wrist comes off Thursday, which is a relief to the Washington freshman forward who has been limited during the first few weeks of fall practice.

“I feel good like I’m playing better than before I hurt it,” he said. “It’s kind of like a mindset.”

At 6-9 and 225 pounds, Chriss is competing for a starting spot on the front line. When he broke his hamate bone during an offseason workout, it was believed the injury would keep him sidelined for 2-3 weeks.

However, Chriss missed a day or so before returning to practice.

“I love basketball,” he said. “It was hurting me to sit out. I’m watching everybody else play and it irks me that I hurt my hand and I couldn’t practice. So I decided to jump in.

“It was a learning lesson. I have to go to my left eventually. Why not be forced to use it? … It’s a blessing in disguise.”

Chriss plans to participate in Washington’s closed scrimmage Saturday at Saint Mary’s.

“I’m going to have some tape on it just for protection and then by next Thursday I’ll be 100 percent,” he said.

After nearly three weeks of fall practice, Chriss has been somewhat surprised at how the Huskies have coalesced so quickly. Washington returns just two main players while breaking in nine newcomers, including seven freshmen.

“We’re doing good,” Chriss said. “Everybody is adjusting. We look older than I thought we would. We don’t look like freshmen. We play like – I’m not going to say grown men – but we play mature. We don’t have moments like what are these kids doing? We have different learning experiences and we make the most of it.”

The new-look Huskies joined the UW women’s basketball team at Wednesday night’s Husky Hoopla in front of an intimate gathering of fans at Alaska Airlines Arena. The teams participated in a shooting exhibition and dance contest before signing autographs and mingling with fans.