Just hours after proclaiming that he would be fine, the Phoenix Suns announced that center Marcin Gortat would be out three to four weeks with a sprained right foot:
Suns just announced that center Marcin Gortat (@mgortat) is out three to four weeks thanks to sprained right foot
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) March 7, 2013
The injury to Gortat’s foot occured Wednesday night against the Toronto Raptors when he came down on Raptors forward Amir Johnson‘s foot during a rebound attempt.
Gortat was having a decent season prior to the foot injury averaging 11.1 points and 8.5 rebounds, although his stats pail in comparison to Gortat’s breakout 2011-2012 campaign where he put up 15.4 points and 10 rebounds while starting all 66 games for the Suns.
The Suns will definitely miss Gortat’s inside presence with him for what is looking like the rest of the season. Gortat moves well for a 6’11″, 240 lb center and has a decent shooting touch with range out to 15 feet, making him a threat in pick and roll sets with point guard Goran Dragic.
The Suns recently acquired center Hamed Haddadi from the Raptors in exchange for point guard Sebastian Telfair at the trade deadline, so the Suns have a center, albeit an unproven one, to fill their void in the paint. Veteran Jermaine O’neal has also been playing well of late and will most likely get the starts with Gortat sidelined.
Gortat will need to bounce back from his foot injury and down year next season if he wants to secure a big contract in the summer of 2014, when Gortat will be a free agent. If he does, the Suns may be wiling to retain the 29-year old center. But if not, Gortat could end up another NBA journeyman bouncing from team to team.