De'Aaron Fox out vs. Thunder as Kings enter crucial stretch in schedule

James Ham
NBC Sports BayArea

Kings starting point guard De'Aaron Fox is banged up and will miss Thursday's critical game against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The 22-year-old has worn tape on his left shoulder the last two games and he disappeared into the Kings' locker room during the first half of the team's win over the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday evening.

The diagnosis against the Warriors was right groin tightness. He returned to the game and played well, but that soreness may be a symptom of a bigger issue.

Despite Fox not showing up on the early edition of the NBA's injury report, the point guard will miss tonight's matchup against the Thunder with lower abdominal tightness. According to a team source, the two injuries are connected.

Fox played in 81 games last season, but he missed 17 games with a Grade 3 left ankle sprain early this season and one more game with lower back tightness. He's averaging 19.9 points, 6.9 assists and 4.1 rebounds in 31.6 minutes per game this season.

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The Kings are at a crucial point in their schedule. They currently trail the Memphis Grizzlies by 3.5 games in the standings with 25 games remaining on the schedule and they face Memphis on Friday night on the second night of a back-to-back.

With Fox sidelined, coach Luke Walton likely will turn to veteran Cory Joseph to fill the void. Joseph started 21 games early in the season with Fox out of action and is a reliable, steady hand. He isn't the dynamic scorer that Fox is, but he's a solid defensive replacement that doesn't make a lot of mistakes. 

De'Aaron Fox out vs. Thunder as Kings enter crucial stretch in schedule originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

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