Injury woes continue for Oklahoma City Thunder forward Aleksej Pokusevski, who sustained an ankle sprain injury in practice and will be re-evaluated in six weeks, the team reported.
As a result, Pokusevski will most likely miss all of training camp, the preseason, and the start of the regular season. The injury happened when Pokusevski went up to block a shot and landed on another player’s foot, according to sources.
Pokusevski was already recovering from multiple injuries heading into this season. During his third year in the NBA, the big man had his best year cut short, as he missed the second half of the 2022-23 season when he fractured his left leg tibial plateau in December.
In addition, this offseason, Pokusevski then broke his right arm, which caused him to miss the FIBA World Cup for his home country, Serbia, which was able to win a silver medal despite his absence.
The 7-foot forward was drafted by the Thunder with the No. 17 pick in the 2020 draft, and throughout his career has averaged 7.9 points, 4.9 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and 1 block per game across 21.6 minutes of playing time. That is to say, before his injury last season, Pokusevski proved himself as a potential solid stretch big, as he was shooting a career-best 36.5% from 3-point range.
Pokusevski will be entering the final year of his rookie contract this year and is set to earn $5 million. To note, the 21-year-old would be on an expiring contract if he doesn’t sign a rookie-scale extension before the regular season begins. With this in mind, most likely Pokusevski will hit restricted free agency in 2024.