The Oklahoma City Thunder will be slightly shorthanded when they begin training camp next week. Fifth-year guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander will miss the start of camp due to a Grade 2 left MCL sprain, the team announced on Wednesday. This extends a rough streak when it comes to injury issues for both the Thunder and Gilgeous-Alexander, who ended last season on the sideline due to an ankle injury.
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The timing here for Gilgeous-Alexander’s latest injury is tough with the start of the regular season obviously right around the corner. The Thunder just have to hope that the injury isn’t one that will bleed over into the regular season. Oklahoma City is scheduled to kick off preseason play against the Denver Nuggets on Oct. 3, and they will begin their regular season slate against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Oct. 19.
Gilgeous-Alexander’s scoring has increased in each of his first four seasons in the league, and he’s coming off of his best individual campaign. Last season, he was one of just nine players to average at least 24 points, five rebounds and five assists per game. The other players on that list are Nikola Jokic, Giannis Antetokounmpo, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, Luka Doncic, Paul George and Ja Morant. That’s the type of company Gilgeous-Alexander is keeping statistically. Once he’s healthy, Gilgeous-Alexander should be in line for another productive season for the Thunder.