Thunder forward Aleksej Pokusevski — entering a contract year — will miss training camp and the start of the season after spraining his ankle Tuesday during a workout, the team announced.
The team says he will be re-evaluated in six weeks, which would be Nov. 1 (the Thunder open their season Oct. 25 at the Bulls). That is just the re-evaluation date, he likely is out longer than that working on a complete recovery.
It's a blow to the 7-foot Serbian stretch four, who has shown flashes of real potential and would be in the heart of some interesting Thunder lineups this season, but also has struggled to stay healthy. The injury reportedly happened when he landed on another player's foot after going up to block a shot. It's another fluke injury in a career marred by them. Pokusevski played in 34 games last season and his career high is 61.
The Serbian has made his name as a good shot blocker and defender in the paint, but he has not been efficient offensively, shooting 30.1% from beyond the arc for his career (although that jumped to a much better 36.5% last season). He has an unimpressive career 47.4 true shooting percentage (which improved to 52.2 last season, but that was still below the league average).
Pokusevski is entering his fourth season and — barring an unexpected deal on a team-friendly contract extension — will be a restricted free agent next summer.