One night after turning in a flame-throwing 46-point performance to beat the Philadelphia 76ers, Phoenix Suns shooting guard Devin Booker needed to be carried off the floor by his teammates after suffering a non-contact injury late in the fourth quarter of Tuesday’s game against the Toronto Raptors. That’ll be his last time on the court for at least a couple of weeks.
With just under three minutes remaining in the fourth quarter and the Raptors holding an 11-point lead, Booker was defending Raptors point guard Fred VanVleet as he dribbled up the court. As they passed the half-court logo at the Air Canada Centre, Booker suddenly pulled up, reached down and grabbed his groin:
The 21-year-old didn’t appear to be able to put any weight on his right leg as he stood during a timeout. Eventually, two teammates had to lift him up, carry him off the court and bring him to the locker room for further evaluation. He didn’t return, finishing with 19 points on 4-for-15 shooting to go with eight assists, five rebounds, two blocks and a steal in 39 minutes before exiting for good. Shortly thereafter, the Raptors would finish off a 126-113 win over the Suns, who fell to 9-17 on the season.
Not long after the game finished up, the Suns provided an initial diagnosis of Booker’s injury:
.@Suns Injury Update: Devin Booker has a strained left adductor. He will be further evaluated when the team returns to Phoenix
— Phoenix Suns Stats (@SunsBballComm) December 6, 2017
After that further evaluation, they updated the prognosis on Wednesday:
BOOKER INJURY UPDATE: Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker sustained a left adductor strain in the fourth quarter of Tuesday night’s game at Toronto. Following further evaluation and an MRI, his expected recovery time is approximately two to three weeks. pic.twitter.com/NSKLIOssoi
— Phoenix Suns (@Suns) December 6, 2017
Two to three weeks would mean Booker will be out for between six and 10 games, potentially missing premier shooting-guard showdowns against Bradley Beal and the Washington Wizards, DeMar DeRozan and the Toronto Raptors, and a pair of matchups against Andrew Wiggins, Jimmy Butler and the Minnesota Timberwolves. Even so, as was the case when New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis suffered the same injury last week only to be listed as day-to-day after further evaluation revealed a more mild strain than initially feared, the Suns and their fans are likely thrilled that what looked awful in the moment might only keep Booker out through the dog days of December.
Still, it won’t be too fun for the Suns to be without him. Booker is Phoenix’s leading scorer, ranking 10th in the NBA by averaging a career-best and team-high 24.3 points, 4.5 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game, shooting 45.3 percent from the field, 38.3 percent from 3-point range and 87 percent from the free-throw line. The Suns haven’t been all that great with their top gun this season, opening the new campaign 9-17, but things promise to get even darker and colder in his absence.
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