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Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has ankle sprain, will be out through All-Star break

The Thunder star limped to the locker room after missing two free throws Friday against the Pacers.

Indiana Pacers v Oklahoma City Thunder
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander of the Oklahoma City Thunder looks to pass the ball during the game against the Indiana Pacers on January 28, 2022 at Paycom Arena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images

Update: Per Adrian Wojnarowski, Gilgeous-Alexander has an ankle sprain and will be out through the All-Star break at minimum. The Thunder don’t have playoff aspirations this season, so this won’t mean much in terms of the standings.

Update: Gilgeous-Alexander will not return to Friday’s game.

The Oklahoma City Thunder suffered a potentially massive injury blow Friday when Shai Gilgeous-Alexander went to the locker room with an ankle issue against the Indiana Pacers. Gilgeous-Alexander is the centerpiece of the team and signed a massive contract extension in the offseason, signaling that he’s the future of the franchise.

Gilgeous-Alexander had 10 points, three assists and two steals prior to exiting Friday’s contest. With the point guard sidelined, look for Josh Giddey and Darius Bazley to be more involved in the backcourt. Even Tre Mann could get more looks in the backcourt as a lead guard. The Thunder are in a fluid rebuild, so they can afford to experiment with younger players. What they don’t want is long-term injury issues, which Gilgeous-Alexander hopefully doesn’t have. The guard had ankle problems earlier in the season but was able to come back fairly quickly. He’s averaging 23.0 points and 5.5 assists per game this season.