The Phoenix Suns may be missing two starters when they host the New Orleans Pelicans on Thursday night.
It’s a critical game for the Suns if they want to hang on to any kind of hope for making the postseason, as they are currently chasing the Pelicans and Oklahoma City Thunder for the final Western Conference playoff spot.
Suns general manager Ryan McDonough gave an update Wednesday on guard Brandon Knight and center Alex Len, both of whom are nursing ankle injuries.
“They both had fairly serious ankle sprains,” McDonough told Arizona Sports 98.7 FM‘s Burns and Gambo. “They were able to do a few things over the past couple of days … It doesn’t look great for those guys, in terms of being able to play (Thursday). We do have shootaround in the morning, so we’ll see what they’re able to do. But they haven’t gone through a full practice yet. They were able to get up a few stationary shots and things like that, but they’re not able to put a whole lot of weight on (their ankles).”
Knight has missed the last three games since his first-half injury against Golden State last Monday. Len rolled his ankle in the fourth quarter against Atlanta last Friday, and has missed Sunday’s win over New York.
“(New Orleans is) going to be a challenge for us, either way, even with a full roster,” the GM said. “We’ll be shorthanded without those guys. But at the same time, over the last week, we’ve played better.”
McDonough pointed out that the team is 2-1 in Knight’s absence. P.J. Tucker had slid over in the starting lineup from small forward to shooting guard, and 20-year-old guard Archie Goodwin has been playing some point guard behind Eric Bledsoe. Meanwhile, Marcus Morris has been starting at small forward, and Brandan Wright filled in at center nicely in Len’s absence in the win over the Knicks.
“Our guys are competing,” McDonough said. “Jeff (Hornacek) has done a great job shifting guys around a little bit positionally.
“We’ll come out and compete and we’ll play hard, but it would be a bonus if we get either Brandon or Alex in uniform (Thursday) night.”