Indiana Pacers rookie Myles Turner will miss at least four weeks after suffering a chip fracture in his left thumb during his team's road win over the Boston Celtics on Wednesday night, as first reported by Nate Taylor of the Indianapolis Star and subsequently announced in a team statement.
Turner appeared to suffer the injury with just over two minutes left in the opening quarter at TD Garden while defended by Celtics big man Kelly Olynyk on a possession that ended with a Monta Ellis 3-pointer:
Turner immediately began favoring his left hand and began running toward the Pacers bench, even while the ball was still in play. Teammate Jordan Hill quickly took a foul to stop the action, allowing Turner to exit the game for the trainers to get a look at his busted digit. He wouldn't return, logging just one minute and 19 seconds of playing time in Indiana's 102-91 win.
The Pacers selected the 6-foot-11 Turner out of Texas with the 11th pick in June's 2015 NBA draft, viewing his combination of size, athleticism and shooting touch an attractive alternative to the more lumbering interior presence of Roy Hibbert as Indiana attempts to remake itself to remain competitive in a more uptempo, pace-and-space-centric NBA. Serving as the primary backup to veteran starting center Ian Mahinmi, the 19-year-old was averaging seven points on 55.3 percent shooting to go with 3.3 rebounds and one block in 17.9 minutes per game through seven pro contests entering Wednesday's abbreviated outing.
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"The kid just works so hard and was really growing every day," Pacers coach Frank Vogel said during Indy's Thursday practice, according to the Star. "He'll definitely be missed while he's out."
In his absence, Vogel said Thursday that the Pacers will turn to veteran Jordan Hill, who joined the team on a one-year, $4 million contract in free agency this summer, as Mahinmi's understudy. The 28-year-old Hill chipped in 12 points on 5-for-10 shooting, eight rebounds and three assists in 22 1/2 minutes off the bench in Wednesday's win.
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