Suns guard Landry Shamet has missed seven consecutive games while in the NBA’s concussion protocols, but he has officially been upgraded from questionable to probable for Saturday’s game against Utah (Twitter link via Gerald Bourguet of PHNX Sports).
Shamet told Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic that he expects to play on Saturday. He also detailed his recovery process and symptoms, among other topics.
“I feel a lot better,” he said. “You know, trusting our medical staff, they’ve been great. Concussions are weird. I don’t know, they just are. Sometimes you don’t really know what your feeling or what you’re supposed to feel, so really just communicating with them, trusting them. They’ve been great taking the lead and I feel really, really good, progressing back and I’m excited to get back going here (Saturday) hopefully.”
The 25-year-old said that he had another concussion in college, but this one was very different because the symptoms were delayed after initially just experiencing neck tightness. He said the worst came when the team traveled to Orlando earlier this month.
“We landed in Orlando − my siblings, Jacksonville’s home to them, so they came to visit me, one of my sisters, and that was when I felt like really bad,” Shamet said. “It was also the hurricane, so we flew into a hurricane, and with a concussion that’s just awesome (smiles). When we got to dinner, I couldn’t focus, the light, sounds, whatever, every time I stood up, I felt like Bambi, felt like I was gonna fall out. So that’s when it got like, ‘OK, this is kinda scary.’ I don’t throw up. I got really nauseous and threw up a couple times. A lot of that stuff I don’t take lightly. That’s what got me to be like, ‘This isn’t just a little headache I had.’”
The former 26th overall pick is in the first year of a four-year, $42.5MM rookie scale extension that he signed prior to last season. Only the first two years are guaranteed (at $19.75MM), so he could realistically become a free agent as early as 2024.
Unfortunately, although Shamet is on the verge of a return, 12-time All-Star Chris Paul continues to be hampered by right heel soreness and has been ruled out for tonight’s game, according to Bourguet. Saturday marks his ninth straight absence for the 12-6 Suns, the No. 1 seed in the West.