NBA

Devin Booker injury update: Suns star out at least another week with groin strain

Phoenix Suns star Devin Booker, who has missed 15 straight games after leaving their Christmas Day contest against the Denver Nuggets after four minutes because of a left groin strain, will be sidelined for at least another week and then be reevaluated, according to the team, via Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic

On Dec. 28, the Suns announced that Booker would be re-evaluated in four weeks. That was exactly four weeks ago. After that, they lost nine of their next 10 games, but immediately followed that with a four-game winning streak, which will be on the line when they host the Dallas Mavericks in a nationally televised rematch of their second-round series on Thursday. Following that game, they’ll visit the San Antonio Spurs and host the Toronto Raptors before Booker is reevaluated again.

Phoenix was 15-6 at the beginning of December and fell to 21-24 before this streak. Much of that is because Booker missed 20 games this season, but it’s not as if he has been the only Sun sitting out. Here’s what else they’re dealing with right now:

  • Deandre Ayton has missed the Suns’ last three games with a non-COVID illness.
  • Cameron Payne has appeared in only two games since Dec. 13 and remains out with a sprained right foot.
  • Landry Shamet has appeared in only one game since Jan. 8 and remains out with right foot soreness.
  • Jae Crowder, still technically a member of the team, was shelved before training camp; the front office is still trying to find an acceptable trade. 

The good news is that Chris Paul returned on Sunday after a seven-game absence and Cameron Johnson returned last week after a 37-game absence. Phoenix has looked like a much more functional team lately, and, when Booker comes back, it will be looking to establish itself as a contender again, just like a number of other teams that are stuck in the middle of the Western Conference’s cluttered, chaotic standings. 

With Booker on the court this season, the Suns have scored 120.2 points per 100 possessions. (As a point of reference, the Sacramento Kings, the league’s most efficient team this season, have scored 117.9 per 100). In the 28 games he played before Christmas, Booker was having the best season of his career, averaging 28 points on 58.5 percent true shooting, plus 4.8 rebounds and 5.8 assists in 35.6 minutes. 

If Booker is immediately cleared to play next Wednesday, then he could potentially be on the court that night when Phoenix hosts the Atlanta Hawks. After that, the Suns will go on a five-game road trip, beginning with a back-to-back against the Boston Celtics and Detroit Pistons next Friday and Saturday. 



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