Skal Labissiere sits with shoulder injury: A worry for the rest of the year?

SACRAMENTO, CA - APRIL 11: Ty Lawson /

Skal Labissiere at out the Jan. 28 game with his left shoulder strain.  We examine that news and the rest of season ramifications.

The Sacramento Kings faced a tough game in San Antonio on Jan. 28, but the pregame news put a damper on the parade.  Especially, the Skal Labissiere injury update.  Here is a Tweet from Jason Jones about two hours before tipoff.

What the news means

The injury to Labissiere is troubling at this point. He sat out on Sunday, and the Kings lost 113-98 to the Spurs.  The news is worrying on multiple fronts, but first, let us just discuss the short term.  Labissiere needs to play to continue his development and now is the time he would get significant minutes.  WCS is also out, and Sacramento does not want to be playing Kosta Koufos and Zach Randolph over 30 minutes a night.  Hopefully, Skal returns to the lineup on Tuesday in New Orleans, but I would consider him questionable as of this writing.

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Rest of season ramifications

Unless the Kings decide to rest Labissiere for at least a week, this shoulder injury will be in the back of mind the rest of the season.  Remember, it is not clear when he initially hurt the shoulder, but he missed a game on Jan. 17 with the same injury.  Then, Labissiere played in four straight but could be seen favoring that left arm and shoulder at times.  Now, he is out again with a left shoulder strain.  It is worth noting, Labissiere was on the injury report before all four games with the injury, so either made the problem worse, or the pain is just not subsiding as it should.  Something is wrong here and only time will tell what exactly is the issue.  Stay tuned for updates on this story.

Who steps up?

We mentioned the players earlier, but with both young frontcourt options hurt, we saw more small ball along with Koufos and Z-Bo.  Koufos played 31 minutes and Randolph 32 with Justin Jackson receiving 30 and Vince Carter 27.  That made up the frontcourt for the entire night.  Not a group of fantastic options for a team committed to youth and rebuilding, but injuries force your hand sometimes.

Final thoughts

Skal Labissiere’s shoulder strain cost him a second game in the last two weeks.  It will be interesting to see if Labissiere misses subsequent games.  Continue to follow this developing story and stay tuned for updates.  The Kings conclude their six-game road trip in New Orleans on Tuesday before heading Golden State on Friday.  Hopefully, Labissiere is back for the ESPN national telecast on Friday evening.

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