Rockets big man Christian Wood is expected to return on Wednesday night vs. the Warriors after missing the last 17 games with a sprained ankle, a source tells Tim MacMahon of ESPN (Twitter link). Houston has lost 17 times in a row since Wood went down with the injury.
Wood will start and will be on a minutes restriction, adds Mark Berman of Fox 26 Houston (Twitter link).
Prior to the ankle sprain, Wood was making a case for an All-Star spot, averaging 22.0 points, 10.2 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks per game with a .558/.421/.688 shooting line in 17 contests (31.2 MPG).
At the time of Wood’s injury, the Rockets were in the thick of the Western Conference playoff race at 11-10. Now, they have the NBA’s third-worst record and are considered likely to be sellers at the trade deadline, with Wood viewed as perhaps the lone untouchable player on the roster.
Even with Wood back in the lineup, Houston figures to have a shortage of depth on Wednesday vs. Golden State. John Wall (knee), Eric Gordon (groin), David Nwaba (wrist), Danuel House (knee), Ben McLemore (ankle), Dante Exum (calf), and Rodions Kurucs (oblique) are also dealing with injuries, while P.J. Tucker is away from the team as he awaits a trade. However, House and McLemore have been upgraded to questionable for Wednesday’s game, tweets Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle.