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FutureStarrMark Daigneault Gives Injury Update on Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
Mark Daigneault provided an injury update on Shai Gilgeous-Alexander's abdominal strain. He stated that the All-Star could play through it, but that Oklahoma City may opt to rest him during back-to-back games.
The Thunder are in the thick of the play-in race for a spot in the Western Conference playoffs, but they will need to manage without their franchise star for some time. That will have an impact on their fantasy team as well.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is set to return to the Thunder lineup for Sunday's game against Sacramento, but it won't be easy for him. Head coach Mark Daigneault revealed that the star guard will need to play through an abdominal strain he has been dealing with during his absence.
The Thunder are only half a game out of the playoffs with this tough stretch coming up, so they'll need Gilgeous-Alexander to stay healthy and be available when needed. He may have a limited role but will still need to make the most out of his minutes.
He must be prepared for a tough matchup against the Kings, but it's also possible he could be asked to fill in for Josh Giddey who has been sidelined due to health and safety protocols. In that scenario, his workload would increase and he could provide fantasy managers with plenty of 3-pointers.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander returned to the lineup after five games missed due to ankle and abdomen injuries as well as a stint in health and safety protocols. In Sunday's 129-119 win against Utah, the All-Star point guard scored 38 points on 10-of-17 shooting from the field despite feeling somewhat fatigued throughout the contest.
Fantasy managers can take heart in knowing he overcame adversity to score a career high of points this season. He's averaging 31.0 points per game this season, ranking fifth in the NBA, giving them some optimism that he'll stay healthy throughout the remainder of this campaign.
In other news, Jalen Williams is making progress after undergoing surgery last week to repair a right orbital bone fracture he sustained during the season opener against Minnesota. According to Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman, Williams has lost much of the swelling around his eye and is ready to return, according to Dr. Paul Tingley.
The Thunder will be dealing with an assortment of injuries as they head into their final 19 games of the regular season. While this shouldn't concern fantasy managers, it's wise to stay informed on each player in their rotation.
Mark Daigneault provided an injury update on Shai Gilgeous-Alexander's abdominal strain, which the Thunder coach is "dealing with." According to Daigneault, this is a day-to-day issue but it remains uncertain how much playing time will be available for SGA moving forward.
After missing the last five games with ankle and abdominal injuries as well as a stint in health and safety protocols, SGA returned to action on Sunday in Utah's win. The dynamic point guard ignited the Thunder's offense with an energetic play in the third quarter that changed the momentum of the contest. He dove on the floor for a loose ball as Utah cut their 24-point lead down to 10 points before passing it off to Isaiah Joe who made a clutch three-pointer as time ran out on the shot clock.
The Thunder were able to pull away from a close contest thanks to Jalen Williams' 32 points on 12-of-15 shooting in the victory. Additionally, Isaiah Joe recorded a career high 28 points and seven rebounds after returning from an abdominal strain which kept him out of two straight games.
One player who could benefit from SGA's absence is rookie Josh Giddey, who has been an impressive presence for the Thunder this year after a strong rookie campaign last season. Through 30 games this season, he's averaged 10.8 points and 7.1 rebounds per contest.
Veteran Jeremy Lin has missed the last four games with a strained left hip. While he will miss his next match, it appears that Jeremy will be able to return to action soon enough.
The Thunder are currently 13th in the Western Conference standings, 2.5 games behind the New Orleans Pelicans for the fifth and final playoff spot. After losing five straight games, they must start winning more matches if they want to make it to Play-In tournament. To do that, they'll need help from other players; without an effective SGA lineup they may struggle, but with Joe, Giddey, and Williams leading the charge they should still be able to pick up victories.
Mark Daigneault provided an injury update on Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who is currently out with a grade two MCL injury. During his rehab process, the Thunder point guard is working on shooting free throws and jump shots but has yet to return to action on the court.
SGA has missed five games this season due to various injuries, but is expected to return for Sunday's game against the Jazz. He may only get a few minutes back but it appears likely that he will start again.
Since being selected 11th overall in 2018, SGA has been an impressive performer for OKC, averaging 31.0 points, 4.7 rebounds and 5.7 assists on a 50.7% shooting percentage this year; moreover, he's made more than 1.9 triples per game on average.
The Oklahoma City Thunder are hoping to make a strong push for a playoff spot, and their star guard has been instrumental in their success this season. That's why it was such a shock when Gilgeous-Alexander suffered an ankle sprain during the third quarter of Friday night's 130-point loss to the Pacers.
However, the Thunder are hopeful that Gilgeous-Alexander can play on opening night against the Minnesota Timberwolves. According to head coach Mark Daigneault, there will be no minutes limit during Wednesday's season opener against Minnesota.
Daigneault also reported Chet Holmgren (foot) and Lu Dort (concussion) are out for the remainder of preseason. Mike Muscala (ankle) and Jalen Williams (strep throat) remain questionable for Sunday's game against Memphis Grizzlies, though it's possible they'll both play.
Zubac (calf) is questionable for Sunday's game against the Grizzlies, while Mason Plumlee should return to the starting lineup after missing four games with right calf soreness. This comes as a major setback for Oklahoma City, who are only 2.5 games out of a play-in spot in the Western Conference.
Though they may not have enough talent to make a major splash in the draft, the Thunder still have plenty of potential first-round picks. Through the 2029 NBA draft, they have 15 potential first rounders and 14 second rounders available, so it will only be a matter of time before they add another talented young player to their roster.
Mark Daigneault anticipates the Thunder will be short at guard this season, but Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is set to return soon. He's expected to take the starting job and join Tre Mann, Jrue Holiday and Jordan Nwora in the rotation.
Though Gilgeous-Alexander may not get the majority of minutes during training camp, his shoulder strain could potentially limit his playing time as the team seeks to keep him fresh for the remainder of the season.
That could include sitting him out for the second game of back-to-backs or decreasing his overall minutes played. But he is expected to play and has displayed incredible resiliency when coming back from injuries.
He had an outstanding summer for Canada's national team and is already making waves in his third season with the Thunder, averaging 30.4 points, 6.2 rebounds and 7.4 assists over the past 11 games.
These numbers are even more remarkable given his lack of production in the frontcourt this season and lack of a quality supporting cast.
SGA is one of those rare players who is so effective on a small level, yet his approach makes things seem effortless and natural. He doesn't try to force his way into plays - instead, he glides around screens, dips his shoulders and bends to find an angle to attack the basket with ease.
When it comes to SGA's distinct style, there are plenty of analogies that can be drawn. Some resemble music videos while others bring to mind scenes from movies.
SGA has been an integral part of the Thunder's recent success. During their current 11-game winning streak, he is averaging 30.4 points, 6.1 rebounds and 7.4 assists per game while shooting a career high.530 percent from the field.