Ayton’s ankle will be reevaluated before Suns-Blazers on Friday

Mar 6, 2020, 11:25 AM | Updated: 11:29 am
Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton grabs his foot after being injured during the second half of an N...
Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton grabs his foot after being injured during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Toronto Raptors Tuesday, March 3, 2020, in Phoenix. The Raptors won 123-114. (AP Photo/Matt York)
(AP Photo/Matt York)

Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton will be revaluated for an ankle sprain Friday before his team faces the Portland Trail Blazers, head coach Monty Williams told reporters after shootaround.

Ayton went through non-contact parts of practice Thursday, working in the weight room and also doing standstill shooting.

Ayton was put in a walking boot after hurting himself Tuesday during a loss to the Toronto Raptors, then underwent x-rays and an MRI.

“We didn’t do a lot of contact today, but he did some pre-practice stuff, he went through a lot of stuff in practice,” Williams said Thursday. “We’ve got to see how he responds. Don’t have a timetable on when he’s able to play again.”

With the Trail Blazers visiting Phoenix on Friday night, the Suns will be limited in how they replace Ayton if he’s out.

Backup center Aron Baynes didn’t play against the Raptors, a 123-114 loss, due to matchup reasons and hasn’t appeared for more than 16 minutes in any outing since Jan. 12. Baynes didn’t play at all while dealing with a hip injury from Jan. 18 to Feb. 21.

The 33-year-old center is ready to take on a bigger load but will need help to fill in all the lost time for Ayton, Williams said.

Ayton, after all, played 39 minutes against Toronto before tweaking his ankle with nearly three minutes left in the game, and Dario Saric was the only other big man used against a small-ball opponent.

“(Baynes) and Dario will have to play some of that together,” Williams said. “Hopefully I won’t have to play Aron close to 30 but it could get to that point. Cheick (Diallo) has an opportunity to play as well, depending on the matchup.”

Diallo has found himself outside a shortened rotation. Like Baynes, he didn’t appear in the Raptors game and only played a combined five minutes in three blowouts over Phoenix’s last five outings.

Against Portland, the Suns will also be without Cam Johnson, who was ruled out with an illness on Thursday.

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