Rookie forward Rodions Kurucs will miss his 5th straight game for the Brooklyn Nets as he was declared out for Wednesday’s matchup with the Detroit Pistons.
Brian Lewis of the New York Post reported the update on Tuesday.
This will be the fifth straight games the second-round pick from Latvia has been out since spraining his left ankle Oct. 20 in a game against the Indiana Pacers.
Kurucs’ absence against the Pistons isn’t a surprise. The Nets did not practice Tuesday after playing three games in four nights. Kurucs hasn’t participated in a full practice since the injury and Brooklyn’s not going to risk turning a minor issue into a major one by rushing Kurucs back.
The 40th overall pick in June’s NBA Draft, Kurucs surprised fans and coaches alike with his solid play in the preseason, earning a rotation spot after projections had him spending most of this season with the G League’s Long Island Nets.
Kurucs was something of an unknown quantity when training camp opened last month. The 20-year-old combo forward did not play for the Nets in the Las Vegas Summer League, as he was unable to secure his buyout from FC Barcelona in time.
So we had no idea what to expect.
In the preseason, Kurucs was an instant hit, averaging 7.8 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.5 steals in just 12 minutes per game, shooting 10-for-18/0-for-4/11-for-12.
That performance, plus injuries to DeMarre Carroll and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, opened up a place for the rookie in the rotation and in his first three real NBA games, he averaged 8.7 points and 4.0 rebounds in 14.3 minutes per game with a slash line of 9-for-19/4-for-10/4-for-4.
That included hitting double-figures in two of his three appearances, scoring 11 points in 17 minutes in Brooklyn’s home-opening victory over the New York Knicks on Oct. 19 and a career-high 12 points in 15 minutes before he was hurt at Indiana the following night.
Besides Kurucs, Carroll and wing Treveon Graham remain out indefinitely. Carroll underwent an arthroscopic procedure on his right ankle after sitting out the final two preseason games and Graham strained his left hamstring in the win over the Knicks.