Trail Blazers forward Justise Winslow, who exited last Wednesday’s game vs. Oklahoma City due to a left ankle injury, has been officially diagnosed with a grade 2 ankle sprain, the team announced on Monday night in a press release.
Portland didn’t provide a formal timeline for Winslow’s potential return, but indicated he’ll be reevalauted in two weeks, so it’s safe to assume he’ll remain sidelined through at least the first week of January.
Winslow has already missed the Blazers’ last two games. Even if he’s able to return as soon as he’s reevalauted on January 9, he’ll remain on the shelf for another five contests.
Winslow isn’t part of Portland’s starting lineup when the team is fully healthy, but has started 11 of his 29 games this season and ranks sixth on the team with 26.8 minutes per contest. Although his offensive production – 6.8 points per game on .409/.311/.714 shooting – is modest, he’s a versatile defender and solid play-maker (3.4 APG) who grabs a few rebounds per night (5.0).
With Winslow and Nassir Little (hip fracture) unavailable, the Blazers will have to lean more heavily on reserves like Shaedon Sharpe, Trendon Watford, and Keon Johnson in the short term. Offseason signee Gary Payton II is also believed to be nearing his season debut and should provide additional depth off the bench.