SACRAMENTO -- The NBA All-Star break is the last major milestone in the regular season before the mad dash to the finish line. It’s also a time for both mental and physical recovery, which was much needed for the Kings.
Buddy Hield went to Chicago to win the NBA's 3-point title. Cory Joseph made a visit to Maui and coach Luke Walton spent the weekend in Cabo with his wife. De’Aaron Fox took some time to heal up.
Coming off the best month of his career in January, Fox limped into the break. Following the team’s getaway game in Dallas, he was seen icing his left ankle that he injured early in the season. The issue caught the eye of at least one national writer.
According to ESPN’s Marc Spears: “Keep an eye on point guard De'Aaron Fox, who is still trying to recover from an early season ankle injury. The All-Star break came at a much-needed time for Fox. The third-year point guard is having issues with tightness in his ankle when he sits for long stretches during games, a source told ESPN.”
A league source confirmed to NBC Sports California that Fox’s ankle is nothing more than “normal grind of a long season.” The week away was just what the doctor ordered.
Fox originally injured his left ankle during practice on Nov. 11. He missed 17 games with a Grade 3 sprain, but came back much faster than originally predicted.
Following practice on Wednesday, Walton said he noticed that the time off might have done Fox some good.
“He looked really good yesterday and today, looks like he’s moving better,” Walton said. “He has some of that bounce back. The break, I think was great for everyone, including De’Aaron.”
Fox is having another breakout season for the Kings. He went into the break averaging a career-best 19.7 points to go with seven assists and 4.2 rebounds in 31.5 minutes per game.
If the Kings have any chance of making a late run, they need their starting point guard healthy and ready to play a major role.