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Alperen Sengun, Cam Whitmore sidelined for Rockets by short-term injuries

Alperen Sengun (lower back pain) and Cam Whitmore (right ankle sprain) each missed Saturday’s Rockets-Hawks game in Atlanta, but neither injury appears serious, per head coach Ime Udoka.

With Sengun and Whitmore out, candidates for increased minutes include a veteran trio: Jeff Green, Reggie Bullock, and Jae’Sean Tate.

Udoka spoke pregame in comments captured by Space City Home Network, Houston’s regional television broadcast partner.

I don’t think Cam’s [injury] is long-term. We’re obviously on the back-to-back, and with the travel it swelled up a little bit, but I wouldn’t say it’s anything severe… that’s going to keep him out long-term.

Alpi had some tightness in the Minnesota and Indiana games, a little bit, and it got worse last game [in Toronto]. It’s something that kind of built up, and the back-to-back affected that, as well.

Udoka then confirmed that both injuries are considered day-to-day. Whitmore briefly attempted to play on his ankle sprain in Friday’s second half before exiting for good, while Sengun has evidently struggled with back tightness throughout the four-game road trip.

Sengun, Houston’s third-year starting center, leads the Rockets in average points (21.3), rebounds (9.3), and shooting percentage (54.1%) this season. Whitmore, a rookie wing, has come on in recent weeks with averages of 18.1 points (47.2% FG, 42.3% on 3-pointers) and 4.8 rebounds in 20.8 minutes over his last eight outings.

Neither player has been ruled out for Houston’s next game, which takes place Monday night at home versus New York.

The Rockets were also without starting point guard Fred VanVleet (left adductor strain) and Tari Eason (left lower leg injury management) on Saturday, with VanVleet missing his fourth straight game and Eason his 21th consecutive contest. While both are expected to return in the near future, a precise timeline is unclear.

Story originally appeared on Rockets Wire