Willie Cauley-Stein out at least two games with bone bruise

SACRAMENTO, CA - NOVEMBER 22: Willie Cauley-Stein
SACRAMENTO, CA - NOVEMBER 22: Willie Cauley-Stein /

Willie Cauley-Stein injured his right knee against the Miami Heat and was ruled out for at least two games.  We examine the news and who steps up.

Willie Cauley-Stein continues to improve in his third NBA season.  The Sacramento Kings view him a building block.  The youth movement in Sacramento saw WCS playing more minutes and showed us the player Trill is quickly becoming.  That is why Friday’s news was so disappointing.  Below is a Tweet from Jason Jones about Cauley-Stein.

What the news means

Cauley-Stein was injured Thursday’s win against the Miami Heat and is now set to miss at least the two remaining games in January.  Bone bruises can be tricky injuries.  Charlotte Hornets big man Cody Zeller had a similar injury that plagued him for months which you can read more about here.  That does not mean WCS’s injury is as severe, but it is worth monitoring any news that comes available.  The earliest he could return is Feb. 2 against the Warriors in an ESPN telecast.

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Who steps up?

The big man rotation for the Kings gets interesting now.  Kosta Koufos and Zach Randolph are part of the veteran rest program leaving just Skal Labissiere and Georgios Papagiannis playing every game.  Labissiere has a shoulder injury as well that could cause him to miss time.  I believe we finally see Papa G getting consistent run.  It is difficult to predict how he will perform, but monitor his minutes in Sunday’s game against the Spurs.

Final thoughts

Sadly, the Kings lose Willie Cauley-Stein just as the big man was rounding into consistent minutes and production.  I expect WCS to not stay on the shelf for an extended period, and to have a monster post-All-Star Break period.  Stay tuned for more information about the injury.

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