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During the planning stage of the NBA bubble, there was plenty of discussion about what format the league was going to use to resume the season, and how many teams were going to be invited. When they settled on 22, to the surprise of many, one of the big winners was the Sacramento Kings.
Though 3.5 games back of the Memphis Grizzlies in eighth place, the Kings now only have to be within four games of them at the end of the eight seeding games to qualify for a play-in tournament. Win that and they make their first playoff appearance 2006. Unfortunately, their path to doing that may have just gotten a bit more difficult.
Early on Wednesday evening, the team announced that starting point guard De’Aaron Fox has suffered a sprained ankle.
An MRI conducted this evening in Orlando, Fla. on Kings guard De’Aaron Fox confirmed that he sustained a left ankle sprain during practice today. He will be reevaluated in 7-10 days and his status will be updated as appropriate.
Only Fox and the Kings’ medical staff know exactly how bad his sprain is, but the fact that he’s only going to be reevaluated in 7-10 days suggests this could keep him off the floor for even longer than that. Even if he is back in a week, however, this is still tough for the Kings.
Their first scrimmage inside the bubble is one week from Wednesday on July 22, against the Miami Heat, and their first real game is in just over two weeks on July 31 against the San Antonio Spurs.
That means even best case scenario, Fox will miss a week’s worth of practice, and at least one scrimmage. Under normal circumstances, a minor sprained ankle that keeps you sidelined for a week or two would just be a nuisance, but when you haven’t practiced with your team or played five-on-five in months, you need every day you can get.
Unless something goes wrong with his recovery, or this injury is worse than initially expected, Fox shouldn’t miss any significant amount of games, or even any at all. Still, it might take him a bit longer to get back up to speed, and even that could hamper the Kings’ chances of making the playoffs with only eight seeding games on the schedule.