An MRI today shed light on the injury. Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files tweets that, before returning to the court yesterday, Turner had sat for the prior six games as he struggled with a left ankle sprain. Agness notes that this toe setback appears unrelated.
The 6’11” Turner, still just 24, had been enjoying a solid run with the Pacers for the 2020/21 season. Across 47 games, he’s averaging 12.6 PPG, 6.5 RPG, an unreal 3.4 BPG, and 0.9 SPG. He boasts a shooting line of .477/.335/.782.
Losing their defensive anchor for any extended period of time is a major blow for the Pacers as they continue to fight for a play-in appearance. The team is currently the No. 9 seed in the East. At 26-30, the Pacers are currently two games behind the eighth-seeded Hornets, a team saddled with a litany of its own major injuries, and three games ahead of the tenth-seeded Raptors.
With Turner absent, the team will lean on the kinds of small-ball lineups it employed during Turner’s prior injury, with All-Star Domantas Sabonis moving to center and 6’4″ forward Edmond Sumner once again being promoted from the bench to fill out the starting front court alongside 6’6″ forward Justin Holiday. Goga Bitadze and Oshae Brissett could see bigger roles for themselves in the front court rotation this season.
“Pain is temporary,” Turner said of his recovery in a Twitter message. “[I’m going to] attack this rehab and we right back to it!”
Jeff Stotts of InStreetClothes.com tweets that current Nets power forward Blake Griffin‘s 2016/17 playoff run with the Clippers came to an abrupt end when he incurred a similar ailment, eventually requiring corrective surgery.