The Phoenix Suns will reportedly play Thursday’s Game 6 against the Denver Nuggets without center Deandre Ayton, due to a rib injury.
According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, Ayton was ruled out of Game 6 of the Western Conference semifinals series against the Denver Nuggets, who lead the series 3-2, due to a rib contusion.
During the first quarter of the Suns’ loss in Game 5, Ayton took a shot after colliding with Nuggets guard Bruce Brown. Ayton took a knee from a driving Bruce Brown in the paint area with 3:12 remaining in the quarter.
He stayed down for a minute, didn’t make his way to the other end of the floor, and checked out of the game with 2:50 left in the first.
Deandre Ayton, after the game, said he was “fine,” but he struggled to get up in the moments after he hit Brown.
“I feel good,” Ayton said after Game 5. “Everybody thinks it knocked the wind of out of me. It was like a bone-on-bone type of thing where it hurt. I had my breath. It just hurt a little bit where I couldn’t even close out.”
Ayton returned to the game with 8:50 left in the second quarter and finished the night with 14 points and nine rebounds in 32 minutes, but had a large white bandage over his lower right rib cage in the locker room after the game.
He has averaged 10.8 points and 8.2 rebounds so far in the series.
There is no report on the severity of Ayton’s rib contusion and if he’ll be able to return this series, should the Suns extend it to a Game 7, which would be Sunday in Denver.
Though Ayton might feel he is okay to play the next game, he might have to rest a lil more.
“I won’t feel this at all,” Ayton said. “The adrenaline will definitely carry me, my teammates, knowing we have to step it up. We’re going back into the lab and polish up some things. I know for sure we’re not going to make the same mistakes twice.