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Monty Williams: Kelly Oubre won’t be with Suns for a while after knee injury

Kelly Oubre Jr. #3 of the Phoenix Suns during the first half of the NBA game against the Houston Rockets at Talking Stick Resort Arena on February 07, 2020 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Phoenix Suns head coach Monty Williams is still awaiting a more specific diagnosis and plan of action to comment on Kelly Oubre Jr.’s reported meniscus tear in his right knee.

While joining Doug & Wolf on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station, Williams conceded Friday that Phoenix will be missing its starting forward and energizing force for a lengthy period.

“Unfortunately Kelly most likely won’t be with us for a while,” Williams said. “We’re fine. We’ve dealt with it before, with guys being out. Our guys are continuing to grow and play with a great level of intensity.

“It’s an obvious blow to the team, but it’s a great opportunity for Mikal (Bridges) and Cam (Johnson) to step in there. Dario (Saric) will play more minutes.”

Yahoo! Sports’ Chris Haynes reported Thursday that Oubre was seeking a second opinion after suffering a meniscus tear.

In Wednesday’s 102-92 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, Saric stepped into the starting lineup and played 31 minutes. He scored five points but added nine boards and three assists.

Bridges took on 38 minutes, scoring 10 points and grabbing six rebounds, while rookie Cam Johnson dropped 11 points in 27 minutes of action.

That trio, it appears, will take on the majority of now-available forward minutes for the foreseeable future.

Regarding Oubre, Williams would not go into detail about what the Suns are waiting on beyond a second opinion.

As meniscus injuries go, surgery can be required in some cases and recovery times vary from weeks to months. The severity of the tear can vary as well.

“He’s still getting information from doctors that his people trust and our people have given their information,” Williams said. “When you’re dealing with joints and specifically a career, you want to get as much information as you can before you go forward. Before I make any declarations or say too much about it, we got to wait for that information to come back.”

Whether that’s for the remainder of the season of 23 games isn’t clear.

“I don’t know that (Oubre will be out for the season),” Williams said. “We’re going to wait until we get the information and see.”

And once that information is obtained, there could be a discussion between Oubre and team about where the Suns are at present: just 4.5 games out of the last playoff slot but with five teams fighting for that spot.

Weighing his future could be the priority. Oubre is entering a contract year in 2020-21 after signing a two-year, $30 million deal with the Suns last summer.


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