Devin Booker reportedly to be out at least 7-10 days with sprained ankle

Houston Rockets v Phoenix Suns

Houston Rockets v Phoenix Suns

It was evident how much the Suns missed Devin Booker on Sunday in a loss to Oklahoma City. Jusuf Nurkic set a franchise record with 31 rebounds, Bradley Beal went off for 31 points, but the Suns still fell to a top team because they lacked a little more scoring punch.

Now comes news from Shams Charania of The Athletic that Booker is expected to miss at least 7-10 days with the sprained ankle he suffered on Saturday against Houston.

“The Suns and Devin Booker are bracing for his right ankle sprain to keep him sidelined for at least the next seven to ten days, sources tell me. Booker suffered the ankle sprain on Saturday and the Suns are 31-19 with him in the lineup this year and just 4-7 without. Booker is averaging almost 28 points per game over the last two months of the season and the Suns’ priority is to get healthy and get right down the stretch of the season.”

Booker injured his ankle with 1:15 left in a loss to Houston due to a collision with teammate Royce O’Neal. Booker fell to the ground in pain, grabbed his ankle, then limped off the court to the Suns’ locker room.

Booker is having an All-NBA level season averaging 27.5 points, 6.8 assists and 4.6 rebounds a game having had to take over point guard duties for a team without a traditional one. With him out, more offensive load will fall on Kevin Durant‘s shoulders, but defenses can also load up on him more without the fear of Booker off the ball to make them pay.

If Booker is out for 10 days, he will miss four more games, putting him at risk of not playing in 65 games and qualifying for All-NBA or other postseason awards. Booker has already missed 11 games, if that number reaches 18 he becomes ineligible under the terms of the new CBA.

The Suns have a -2.3 net rating when Booker is off the court this season and would struggle to pick up wins against a tough part of the schedule — their next five games include ones at Denver, at Cleveland, and two against Boston.

Phoenix currently sits tied with Sacramento for the 6-7 seeds in the West, part of a four-team group (with New Orleans and Dallas) all within two games of each other in a race for seeds 5-8 in the West (and potentially avoiding the play-in). A string of losses without Booker would be a massive setback for the Suns.