After a shaky start, the Sacramento Kings appear to be rounding into form, winning three of their last four games. However, Sacramento’s upward trajectory took a major hit on Monday and it all started in practice with a reported injury to standout point guard De’Aaron Fox. Zach Lowe and Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN first brought word of the news that Fox suffered an ankle injury of some kind.
Sacramento's De'Aaron Fox suffered an apparent ankle sprain at practice today, sources tell @wojespn and me. Kings medical team is doing testing to determine the severity of the injury, and if Fox needs to miss any time, sources say.
— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) November 11, 2019
From there, the Kings announced that Fox underwent an MRI on Monday that revealed a left ankle sprain. The official timetable is three to four weeks for Fox before a re-evaluation will occur and, as always with similar wording to this, it is crucial to note that re-evaluation and “return” are not always the same.
Finally, Lowe reports that the injury occurred when Fox’s foot was stepped on during the practice session.
A teammate stepped on Fox's foot during practice, sources say.
— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) November 12, 2019
The third-year point guard is averaging 18.2 points, 7.0 assists and 4.0 rebounds per game this season and, with Marvin Bagley III already on the shelf with injury, Sacramento’s rotation is certainly weaker than originally projected. Unlike Bagley III, Fox is almost wholly irreplaceable within the Kings’ system, as his dynamic ability in transition is key in allowing Sacramento’s offense to function. The Kings did invest heavily at backup point guard with the signing of veteran Cory Joseph but, while that does help from a depth perspective, it has to be noted that the drop-off without Fox could be stark.
Sacramento will begin its journey without Fox on Tuesday with a home game against the scuffling Portland Trail Blazers, with games upcoming against the Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics and Phoenix Suns. Given the brutal nature of the Western Conference, the Kings can ill afford a dip in the standings and, in Fox’s absence, every result will be crucial for Sacramento as the team awaits the return of its centerpiece.