Skal Labissiere misses second straight game with shoulder strain

SACRAMENTO, CA - APRIL 11: Skal Labissiere
SACRAMENTO, CA - APRIL 11: Skal Labissiere /

Skal Labissiere continues to deal with a left shoulder strain that has caused him to miss two consecutive games.  We examine why the injury could linger for the near future.

Skal Labissiere is a crucial cog in the Sacramento Kings youth movement  Labissiere has the talent of a lottery pick and turns 22 in mid-March.  He also could transform into the coveted stretch big man with ball handling ability.  Labissiere is a basketball unicorn in some ways with his size and on-court potential.  It is not realized yet, though.  That is why he needs to play and be given 30 plus minutes a night to grow and develop.

The time for that to happen appears to be here, but the health is not.  Labissiere injured his shoulder two weeks ago and never let it fully heal.  Now the injury is back and apparently worse as he missed his second consecutive game on Tuesday against the New Orleans Pelicans.  The Kings secured a victory but lost valuable development for the big man.

Bad to worse

The news gets worse as it does not appear Labissiere is close to being game ready.  I would not be surprised at all to see him sit on Friday against Golden State as well.  Consider him questionable as of this writing and stay tuned for updates as they become available.  Sacramento has little incentive to play Labissiere if he is not entirely healthy, so keep that in mind as the days pass.

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Who steps up?

The Kings appear committed to playing Zach Randolph and Kosta Koufos significant minutes with Labissiere and Willie Cauley-Stein out.  They have also played Vince Carter and JaKarr Sampson at the four in recent games.  Those men are not exactly part of the youth movement, but Sacramento is short on bodies.  Expect to see more minutes from the vets until the future gets back on the court.

Final thoughts

The Kings appear to be taking a conservative approach with Skal Labissiere’s shoulder strain this time.  That likely means we do not see him again until Labissiere is fully healthy.  It is difficult to predict when that occurs, but the Kings have a few days off before hosting the Warriors.  Hopefully, that is enough time for Labissiere to get healthy.  Stay tuned.

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