Deandre Ayton is back on the bench.
Just one game after returning from a 25-game suspension, the Phoenix Suns big man has suffered a right ankle sprain and will miss Friday’s contest against the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Suns announced Thursday.
It is unclear how long Ayton will be out, though we will be sure to update this story when/if any new information becomes available.
#Suns have diagnosed Deandre Ayton with a right ankle sprain, and have ruled him OUT for tomorrow’s game at OKC. Devin Booker (forearm contusion) and Cam Johnson (hip soreness) are both questionable. Tyler Johnson (illness) is probable.— Gina Mizell (@ginamizell) December 19, 2019
It has been a nightmare of a second season for Ayton, who has only played in two games so far. His 25-game suspension, which was handed down after the season-opener, was the result of him violating the terms of the NBA/NBPA Anti-Drug Program by testing positive for a diuretic.
The former No. 1 overall pick was “shocked and embarrassed” by the ruling and opted not to appeal it to avoid being a distraction to his team.
The former Arizona Wildcat has averaged 18.0 points and 11.5 rebounds on 54 percent shooting in the two games he has suited up in this year, including an 18-point, 12-rebound performance Tuesday against the Los Angeles Clippers.
Ayton averaged 16.3 points and 10.3 rebounds per game last season, earning him a spot on the All-NBA Rookie First Team. Unfortunately, his suspension—and now an ankle injury—have prevented him from building on it.