Phoenix Suns center Marcin Gortat heard a “pop” in his right foot in the team’s 98-71 loss to the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday. The injury turned out to be a right foot sprain and could cost him several weeks.
Considering the Suns are 21-41 and second to last in the Western Conference standings, there appears to be no point in trying to get Gortat game-ready. Team officials have stated that he will miss 3-4 weeks with the injury, but with only less than six weeks of the regular season left, there is no reason to rush him back, even if the Suns have no frontcourt without him.
At this point, Phoenix needs to play out the rest of the season with what they have and hope that it will be enough to finish with a somewhat respectable record. Not having Gortat in the lineup is going to be brutal on a nightly basis, but the upside is that the team could very likely fall into a good spot to earn a quality lottery pick for the 2013 NBA Draft.
Even though there are currently four teams with worse records than the Suns, I have to imagine the team’s record will deflate quickly without Gortat.
With Gortat out, expect to see Jermaine O’Neal take over the main center duties once he returns to the team after visiting with his daughter while she undergoes heart surgery. Also, Marcus Morris, Markieff Morris and Luis Scola are all capable of playing the position until O’Neal is back in the lineup.
The 29-year old Gortat averaged 11.1 points, 8.5 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 1.6 blocks and 30.8 minutes per game, while shooting 52.1 percent from the field this season.