The injuries continue to pile up for the Warriors, who announced today (via Twitter) that guard Damion Lee has suffered a non-displaced fracture of the fourth metacarpal in his right hand. Lee will be re-evaluated in two weeks, according to the team.
Technically, Lee isn’t even on the Warriors’ standard roster, as he’s one of the club’s two-way players. However, he has been playing about 25 minutes per night on the wing since Stephen Curry went down with a broken hand of his own, as Anthony Slater of The Athletic notes (via Twitter).
In 11 total games (21.9 MPG), Lee has averaged 10.0 PPG and 3.9 RPG on .385/.343/.848 shooting.
The Warriors will be without Curry and Klay Thompson until at least February, and Kevon Looney is sidelined indefinitely due to a neuropathic condition. An adductor strain will keep Jacob Evans on the shelf until later this month, and Alen Smailagic and Omari Spellman are recovering from ankle injuries.
Teams dealing with at least four extended injury absences can qualify for a hardship provision allowing them to temporarily carry a 16th man on their roster. However, that would be of no use to the Warriors, who can’t even carry a 15th man for now due to a restrictive hard cap.
Since two-way players don’t count toward the salary cap, Golden State could theoretically replace Lee with a new two-way addition. But that would mean waiving a player who has spent the last couple years with the franchise and could be healthy again within the next few weeks.
On the plus side, Lee’s 45-day NBA clock won’t continue to run while he’s injured, so a potential decision on whether or not to find room for him on the standard roster will be pushed further down the road, tweets Slater.