Well, it’s that time of year once again: injury bug SZN.
While the Kentucky Wildcats were taking down Georgia Tech on Saturday, two former ‘Cats – Eric Bledsoe (MIL) and P.J. Washington Jr. (CHA) – were learning the severity of their respective injuries.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Bledsoe has a right fibula avulsion fracture that is expected to sideline him for approximately two weeks.
Bucks guard Eric Bledsoe will be sidelined for two weeks with a right fibula evulsion fracture.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) December 15, 2019
As for Washington, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the rookie forward will miss at least five games up and through Christmas with a fractured finger.
Charlotte Hornets rookie F P.J. Washington is expected to be sidelined through Christmas with fractured finger, league sources tell ESPN. The Hornets play five games in that stretch. He's averaged 12.3 points and 5.3 rebounds.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 14, 2019
Bledsoe suffered his injury during a Friday matchup against the Memphis Grizzlies in the third quarter. He did not return to the game and also missed Milwaukee’s win on Saturday against the Cleveland Cavaliers. As for Washington, the forward injured his finger during the fourth quarter of the Hornets 83-73 win over the Chicago Bulls on Friday.
The injuries aren’t detrimental to the individual player or the team’s long term goals, which is the best news we can take from this. The timing is unfortunate, however, as both Bledsoe and Washington were playing extremely well through the first 25ish games of the year.
Bledsoe is averaging 15.0 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 5.7 assists as the Bucks lead guard, shooting 47.7 percent from the field and 34.4 percent from deep. Alongside reigning MVP Giannis Anteotkounmpo, Bledsoe and Milwaukee post the league’s best overall record of 24-3 as they currently ride an 18-game win streak.
Washington has been one of the many pleasant surprises on the rookie ladder thus far, but he was making a legitimate run at the Rookie of the Year award through 26 games. The former
one-and-done *two-and-done* has put up 12.3 points and 5.3 rebounds per outing while shooting 48.1 percent from the field and an impressive 40.6 percent from deep.
Both injuries are minor and neither team has the incentive to rush these players back as a brief lull in the schedule is coming up due to the holidays. Milwaukee is on pace to win 70 games and can afford to lose Bled for a couple of weeks, although the Bucks next five games will be a rough stretch in terms of the opposition’s talent. Charlotte is already 12-16, but is still very much in the playoff race out East. The Hornets will miss its starting power forward, but should enter 2020 with a healthy Washington ready to make a run for the postseason.
It seems like every member of the BBNBA is experiencing some sort of minor injury this season. Rajon Rondo (LAL) has already missed 12 games this year, Anthony Davis (LAL) has been listed as probable for basically the entire season, Hamidou Diallo (OKC) and De’Aaron Fox (SAC) are both out for extended stretches, and Devin Booker (PHX) sat out Saturday’s game with a forearm injury. We already know about the season-long injuries that Darius Miller (NOP) and John Wall (WAS) are currently recovering from.