The Trail Blazers will be down another big man this week, as beat writer Casey Holdhal reports (via Twitter) that the MRI on Skal Labissiere‘s injured left knee this weekend was inconclusive. According to Holdahl, Labissiere has been ruled out of Monday’s game with left knee inflammation and won’t travel with the team on its five-game road trip, which begins on Wednesday in New York.
Labissiere barely played for Portland last season and wasn’t initially expected to have a major role for the club in 2019/20. However, with Jusuf Nurkic and Zach Collins both on the shelf due to long-term injuries, the former No. 28 overall pick has had the chance to play regular rotation minutes. Labissiere had logged double-digit minutes in 23 consecutive games before leaving Saturday’s loss to the Lakers in the first quarter.
For the season, Labissiere has averaged 5.8 PPG, 5.1 RPG, and 0.9 BPG in 17.2 minutes per contest (33 games). He’ll undergo a second MRI and be re-evaluated once his inflammation subsides, according to Holdahl (Twitter link).
While it’s possible that Labissiere could rejoin the Blazers’ during their road trip, it sounds as if the club expects him to miss that entire five-game stretch. If that’s the case, the earliest date he could return to action would be on January 11, when the Blazers return home to host the Bucks.
Labissiere, 23, will be eligible for restricted free agency at season’s end.