Oklahoma City Thunder rookie Chet Holmgren, the No. 2 overall pick in the NBA draft this past June, will miss the entire 2022-23 season with a Lisfranc injury to his right foot, the team announced on Thursday.
The injury requires surgery in the coming weeks, Thunder general manager Sam Presti said on a Zoom call.
“Certainly, we are disappointed for Chet, especially given the excitement he had about getting on the floor with his teammates this season,” Presti said in a statement. “We know Chet has a long career ahead of him within our organization and the Oklahoma City community. One of the things that most impressed us during the process of selecting Chet was his determination and focus. We expect that same tenacity will carry him through this period of time as we work together and support him during his rehabilitation.”
The injury appeared to occur two minutes into a pro-am game at Seattle Pacific University on Saturday. Holmgren landed awkwardly attempting to defend Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James. The 7-foot, 190-pound Gonzaga product limped to midcourt before exiting the game. Former NBA player Jamal Crawford, who hosted the exhibition, canceled the game before halftime due to slippery floor conditions.
“I had to make the decision to stop the game to protect the players,” he said. “Tough, but right decision.”
Presti said he does not believe condensation on the court was a factor in Holmgren’s injury. As for the incident occurring in an exhibition game, Presti said pro-am participation is sanctioned by the NBA.
“The NBA is making that determination that this is an OK thing to do, and players are going to play in these, because the NBA is saying they’re OK to play in,” Presti added on the conference call. “Guys are playing all the time all over the place everywhere. If you have guys who love to play, they’re going to play basketball. Every time you step on a basketball court, something like this could happen. It could happen in a game, it could happen in a practice, it could happen in a scrimmage. Chet was playing with [Joel] Embiid and [Jayson] Tatum and a bunch of other guys a few days before he went up there. It’s just part of it.”
Lisfranc injuries are more common in the NFL, where impact on the joint occurs more frequently. A 2015 study by the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine revealed that the median recovery period for NFL players who suffered Lisfranc injuries lasted roughly 11 months, and “analysis of pre- and post-injury athletic performance revealed no statistically significant changes after return to sport after Lisfranc injury.”
“Short-term setback for him and short-term setback for us. There are a lot of NBA players that have not had this exact injury but have had injuries their rookie season,” Presti said on the conference call, citing Embiid, Ben Simmons and Blake Griffin as examples of high draft picks who acclimated to the NBA during yearlong injury absences and leveraged that experience to better succeed in their delayed rookie seasons.
Nick Collison, a longtime Thunder player turned special assistant to the team, also missed his first season to injury and “I think is going to be really helpful through this process for us and for Chet,” added Presti.
Holmgren averaged 14 points (on 48/42/94 shooting splits), 8.4 rebounds, 2.8 blocks, 2.4 assists and 1.6 steals in 26.2 minutes over five summer league games for the Thunder in Salt Lake City and Las Vegas.
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Source: Yahoo Sports