Amen Thompson's rookie campaign has gotten off to a solid start. He's been a stellar defender and he's also been essentially the Rockets' only scoring option on the second unit (due, in large part, to Tari Eason's absence).
Thompson has also shown a willingness to take pull-up jumpers and has even sprinkled in a few step-back threes, which have both been promising signs, as the scouting report entering the 2023 NBA Draft had him listed as a non-shooter, as he made just 25 percent from deep in his final season in the Overtime Elite.
In Wednesday night's victory, Thompson went down with an ankle injury that kept him on the ground for a considerable amount of time. Following the game, Rockets first-year coach Ime Udoka announced that Thompson had suffered a grade-two ankle sprain but didn't announce a specific timeline, likely because Thompson hadn't had an MRI yet in the immediate aftermath of the game.
We instantly connected with Houston-based physical therapist Okeezie, who gave a 2-4 week timeline for Thompson to return to gameplay. On Thursday, we connected with Dr. Rajpal Brar of 3CB Performance in Los Angeles, who outlined the variables that could factor into how long Thompson will be out.
How long will Rockets rookie Amen Thompson be sidelined?
"Different levels of flexibility for each person, previous history of ankle sprains, etc."
Thompson did sustain an ankle injury earlier in the Summer League but that was on the opposite ankle, which wouldn't have any bearing on this injury. Brar also gave a timeline for the Rockets rookie to return to the hardwood.
"Typically looking at 2-4 weeks, depending on full severity."
Thompson's injury looked worse in real-time than what it amounted to be in the end, as his right ankle rolled and contorted in such a manner that his foot bent in a direction that shouldn't be humanly possible. But although the injury looked awful, Brar explained why it's necessary to avoid overreacting to the gruesome image that circulated on social media as a greater reason for concern.
"It's always hard to say on video with ankle sprains."
The Rockets will soon release the findings of Thompson's MRI, as based on the similar estimated timetable from both Okeezie and Dr. Rajpal Brar, Thompson will likely be out of commission for 2-4 weeks.