Kings have no timetable for De'Aaron Fox's return from ankle sprain


Kings have no timetable for De'Aaron Fox's return from ankle sprain

Sacramento was hit with a gut punch when MRI results on point guard De’Aaron Fox revealed a Grade 3 ankle sprain that will keep the talented 21-year-old off the court for the foreseeable future. Fox will be re-evaluated in 3-4 weeks, but that time frame isn’t realistic for a return.

Before the Kings ventured to Los Angeles to face the Lakers on Friday evening, Fox hobbled out on crutches to speak to the media.

“After I got the MRI and the X-ray, before I got the results, I knew I was going to be out for a while,” Fox said media members. “It wasn’t like any ankle sprain I had before.”

The injury happened at the end of practice Monday. Head coach Luke Walton had the team going through a halfcourt drill and Fox rolled the ankle and limped off the court early.

Initially, Walton and the rest of the team didn’t think much of the injury, until they checked back in with Fox in the training room a little while later. Despite leaving the court on his own, the Kings starting point guard knew something wasn’t right instantly.

“When it happened, I tried to walk and couldn’t walk and I was like, something’s wrong,” Fox told media members in Sacramento on Thursday. “I heard it pop. It happened so quickly that no one saw it until we watched the film and we saw what happened. Things like this happen.”

This is the first major injury for Fox in his career. He started 81 out of 82 games last season for Sacramento and the one game he missed was a decision made by the team after he had logged substantial minutes over a tough stretch in the schedule.

Fox went home Monday and braced for the news, knowing that it wasn’t likely going to be good.

“I kind of expected it, but at the same time, my heart dropped,” Fox said. “I’d never missed time like this. This will be more time than I’ve missed in my first two seasons combined.”

There is no timetable for Fox’s return, although he is not expected to need surgery. A Grade 3 sprain is the most severe of the sprains and includes a full tear of the ligament. Recovery time can take 6-12 weeks and it’s unlikely Fox will see the court again before the new calendar year hits.

“I’m not going to get back out there until I know I can play and I know I’m 100 percent and I’m able to help the team,” Fox said.

“I’ll be re-evaluated in three weeks, it could take six weeks, some players have been out for months, so you never know with a sprained ankle,” Fox added. “I’m just taking it day-by-day and taking my time with it.”

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Walton is now tasked with filling the void left by Fox, who is averaging 18.2 points, seven assists and four rebounds in 32 minutes per game this season.

Cory Joseph started in the Kings’ win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday and likely will continue to get the call with the starting unit. Bogdan Bogdanovic, who led the Kings with 25 points and 10 assists against Portland, likely will play plenty of point guard as well in the coming weeks as the team attempts to survive in Fox’s absence.

Current, former Kings players attend Sacramento's peaceful protest

Current, former Kings players attend Sacramento's peaceful protest

The Sacramento community turned out in large numbers for a peaceful "Black Lives Matter" protest Saturday.

A number of current and former Kings players attended the event in downtown Sacramento.

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Kings forward Harrison Barnes, former Kings guard Bobby Jackson and team owner Vivek Ranadive were among those that spoke to the crowd at the event.

[RELATED: Fox calls out host for hypocrisy]

The turnout in Sacramento caught the attention of former Kings guard Isaiah Thomas, who shouted out the city.

Protests have been happening across the country for the last two weeks after George Floyd died while in police custody in Minnesota.

How Kings are affected by reported NBA standings change, tiebreaker

How Kings are affected by reported NBA standings change, tiebreaker

The Kings are headed to Orlando for the resumption of the 2019-20 NBA season, but their chances of advancing to the play-in round or playoffs just got a little harder.

Sitting 3.5 games out of the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference, the Kings will play eight games at Disney World to help determine seeding and whether or not there will be a play-in scenario.

But ESPN's Tim Bontemps reported Saturday, citing league sources, that the NBA has decided to use winning percentage, not record, to determined where teams rank in the conference standings.

Because teams haven't played the same number of games, this move makes the most sense. But the Portland Trail Blazers will benefit the most among the non-playoff teams in the Western Conference because they've played two more games than the Kings and New Orleans Pelicans.

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Right now, the Kings, Blazers and Pelicans are all 3.5 games behind the Memphis Grizzlies, but Portland's winning percentage is .439 (29-37), while Sacramento and New Orleans are tied at .438 (28-36). So the Blazers have a leg up on the competition to get the No. 9 seed, which, if they are within four games of the No. 8 seed.

Bontemps also reported that two-team tiebreakers will be settled by the normal procedure -- head-to-head matchups, and this hurts the Kings in relation to the Pelicans.

New Orleans won the only meeting between the two teams, 117-115, on Jan. 4.

[RELATED: Five things about Kings to watch in Orlando]

The Kings and Pelicans were slated to play March 11 before the game was postponed in the wake of the positive coronavirus test by Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert. They were also scheduled to play for a third and final time on March 22.

The Kings have been given eight games to try to keep their season going and possibly end their 13-year NBA playoff drought. Saturday's news doesn't help them, but they were playing well before the season was paused, so if they can pick up where they left off, they might be able to overcome the long odds.