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Report: Suns F Kelly Oubre has torn meniscus, seeking 2nd opinion

Phoenix Suns forward Kelly Oubre Jr. celebrates his three-point basket against the Houston Rockets during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Feb. 7, 2020, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Phoenix Suns forward Kelly Oubre Jr. has suffered a torn meniscus in his right knee and is searching out a second opinion to determine the severity of the tear, according to Yahoo! Sports’ Chris Haynes.

Forward Dario Saric slid into the starting lineup Wednesday in a loss to the Los Angeles Clippers as head coach Monty Williams only revealed that Oubre’s knee injury was receiving a second opinion. The coach did not say when the injury occurred.

Oubre played Monday against the Utah Jazz, helping Phoenix to a 131-111 victory, one of the team’s best wins of the year. He scored 18 points in 38 minutes against Utah.

The 24-year-old is second on the team in minutes per game (34.5) and third in points per game (18.7). He has been heavily relied upon of late. Since the calendar flipped to 2020, he has averaged more than 36 minutes per game.

Meniscus injury recoveries vary, and some require surgery.

With the Suns in 2014, point guard Eric Bledsoe was sidelined three-and-a-half months due to a meniscus injury. A year prior, Los Angeles Lakers forward Metta World Peace underwent surgery and returned just 12 days later.

Oubre’s knee injury comes amid his first full season as a member of the Suns, who acquired him in a trade that sent Trevor Ariza to the Washington Wizards in December 2018. Oubre impressed then-interim general manager James Jones in 40 games with Phoenix last year, enough to earn a two-year, $30 million contract when he hit free agency over the summer.

In 2019-20, Oubre has appeared in 56 games with 55 starts and averaged a career-high 18.7 points and 6.4 rebounds per game. The Kansas product is shooting 45% from the field and a career-best 35.2% from beyond the three-point line.

Losing Oubre will throw a wrench into the Suns’ plans after Williams found a successful starting unit featuring Oubre and fellow wing Mikal Bridges.

Now Saric, who started 43 of 51 games played, will likely take on a larger role if the Suns go with a more traditional lineup.

Additionally, rookie and 2019 No. 11 draft pick Cam Johnson will likely see a boost in minutes to replace Oubre on the wing.

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