Rockets injury updates: Danuel House Jr. still out; Christian Wood questionable

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Ben DuBose
·2 min read
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Needing a victory to snap a two-game losing streak, the Houston Rockets (2-4) will likely be without at least one frontcourt starter in Friday night’s home matchup against the upstart Orlando Magic (6-2).

For a third straight game, Danuel House Jr. is listed as out due to back spasms. The 6-foot-6 forward, who is among Houston’s most athletic and versatile defensive options, has missed each of the last two games — both losses. He did not travel with the team for Wednesday’s game at Indiana, which suggests that he was not close to playing.

“He’s struggling,” head coach Stephen Silas said of House after Tuesday’s practice. “He’s not moving well right now.”

Silas said he did not know the origins of House’s injury and explained he does not believe it happened immediately after an on-court incident.

“It was just one of those things where he woke up and his back was tight, or messed up,” Silas said.

Houston did not practice on Thursday, so there was no further update beyond the official injury report.

In addition to his defense, House has become one of Houston’s most reliable shooting options to help space the floor. In the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons, House connected on 38.1% of his 3-point attempts.

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Danuel House Jr. 'struggling' with back injury, remains out for Rockets

Meanwhile, starting center Christian Wood is listed as questionable due to a sore left knee. Wood appeared to bump knees with an opponent late in Monday’s loss to Dallas and grimaced after the impact, though he stayed in for several more minutes. He was not listed with an injury until Wednesday, when he suddenly appeared as “questionable.”

But unlike House, Wood traveled to Indiana and participated in the team’s game day shootaround, with Silas referring to him as a game-time decision. Even though he didn’t play, that would seem to suggest that Wood was closer than House to making his return.

A 6-foot-10 big man, the 25-year-old has been a revelation for the Rockets, so far in the 2020-21 season — averaging 23.6 points (55.3% FG), 10.0 rebounds and 2.0 blocks in 35.8 minutes per game. Those per-game numbers rank 22nd, 14th and third in the league, respectively.

Friday’s tipoff between the Rockets and Magic is scheduled for 7 p.m. Central from Toyota Center. Final word on Wood’s status, and potentially a new update on how House is feeling, should come when Silas conducts his pregame media session with reporters.

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