Rockets star Christian Wood says his injured ankle is at 80 percent

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Ben DuBose
·3 min read
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Star center Christian Wood said at Saturday’s practice that his sprained right ankle is currently at about 80 percent, and he’s hopeful of returning to the Rockets before the All-Star break. Houston’s last game before the break is Wednesday, March 3, so Wood’s desired timetable would have him back within 11 days at the latest.

At the time of his Feb. 4 injury, Houston had won seven of its last eight — but they’ve since lost seven straight. For the reeling Rockets (11-17), Wood’s return is essential to their hopes of making a playoff push.

“It was definitely hard to deal with, at first,” Wood said of the injury. “But then when I found out the news that it wasn’t as bad as it seemed, I was grateful and thankful. It could’ve been worse.”

In an interview from Saturday’s practice at Toyota Center, here’s a sampling of what Wood told reporters about his situation:

I’m doing great. The rehab process has been going extremely well. I’ve been attacking it. Everything is looking good. I’ve been doing more training stuff, a little bit of on-the-court stuff. Not trying to put too much on it [the ankle]. …

I thought it was broke, at the time, just because of how high the swelling was, and the way it was looking. They thought it was broke. But it turns out it wasn’t, and there was no structural damage. So, we’re good.

If I had it my way, I would tell you I could play the next game. But I don’t think my coaches or teammates would allow that. I don’t think they would even let me on the court. But I’m thirsty and happy to try and get back. I want to come back before All-Star break. If I had to give you a percentage of where my ankle is, I’d probably tell you 80 percent.

Now 25 years old, Wood is averaging 22.0 points and 10.2 rebounds in 31.2 minutes per game in the 2020-21 season. In a breakout year that has earned the 6-foot-10 big man consideration for both the All-Star Game and Olympics, he’s shooting 55.8% overall and 42.1% on 3-pointers.

“It’s crazy,” said Wood, who finished eighth in fan voting among Western Conference frontcourt players. “I’ve seen the votes, and I would never imagine that I would be having those type of votes. From where I was last year, as a 15th man fighting for a roster, to now, I’m in eighth in the All-Star voting. It’s a dream come true, if I was actually named an All-Star.”

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