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Report: Rookie Deni Avdija fractures ankle Wednesday vs. Warriors [UPDATE]

Wizards swingman went down in pain in the first half. X-Rays revealed a hairline fracture, which isn’t expected to require surgery.

Deni Avdija of the Washington Wizards reacts after an apparent injury during the first half against the Golden State Warriors at Capital One Arena on April 21, 2021 in Washington, DC. Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images

Washington Wizards rookie F Deni Avdija was forced to leave Wednesday’s game vs. the Golden State Warriors due to an ankle injury and did not return. Avdija was injured in the first half and was ruled out during the third quarter with the Wizards trailing. Avdija played 14 minutes, scoring 6 points with 3 rebounds before exiting. The No. 9 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, Avdija could miss some time due to the injury with his health important to Washington’s future.

Update: Avdija will end up missing some time unfortunately. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, X-Rays revealed a hairline fracture in Avdija’s right ankle. The injury won’t require surgery, but it will force the rookie to miss the rest of the season.

Avdija is averaging just 6.3 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 1.2 assists on 25.3 minutes per game. He’s been asked to play power forward rather than small forward lately because of a knee injury Rui Hachimura is dealing with, and Davis Bertans will likely step into a starting role until the rookie returns. The Wizards are short on wings, so expect to see a lot more Chandler Hutchison and Garrison Mathews while Avdija is sidelined.

Expectations weren’t really set too high or Avdija in his rookie season. Due to injuries, Avdija had been thrust into the starting lineup for the Wizards, though the increase in playing time hadn’t resulted in better performances. From a fantasy basketball perspective, Avdija is still a project. He’s a good stash in keeper leagues in a high-powered offense that likely won’t see much overhaul unless Bradley Beal is dealt this offseason. If that’s the case, Avdija likely takes on a starting role with added offensive responsibility in Year 2. Avdija won’t be able to flourish with Russell Westbrook on the roster, most likely.