Sacramento Kings starting point guard De’Aaron Fox is reportedly nearing a return to the court. What will the team look like by the time he does?
The days of the Sacramento Kings dealing with injuries to some of their most important players are coming to an end. After a long thumb fracture rehab, Marvin Bagley made his first appearance since the season opener on Wednesday night, scoring 11 points and grabbing 6 rebounds in the Kings win over the Oklahoma City Thunder.
It seems as though Fox is well ahead of schedule. His original diagnosis was that he would be re-evaluated in 3-4 weeks, but the average amount of missed time for a Grade-3 ankle sprain was 33 games (“Re-evaluated” does not mean “returning”). If the Kings starting point guard is to make his return in a week and a half, he will have missed six weeks and 20 games in total.
When the initial reports came out about Fox’s injury, plenty of fans and media members wrote Sacramento off. They were just 3-6 after an 0-5 start, and the roster was already thinner with Bagley out. Games against the Lakers and Celtics loomed, and now the Kings would be without the quarterback of their offense.
But Sacramento has survived. They have a handful of signature wins over the last month against teams like the Nuggets, Mavericks, Rockets, and Celtics. After being left for dead following the first two weeks of the season, the Kings find themselves tied for the 7th/8th playoff spot in the Western Conference and have a handful of winnable games coming up on the schedule.
They are currently two games under .500, and have a good chance of breaking even by the time Fox is ready to go. They will have to win the games that they are supposed to, and might even have to steal a game against the Pacers to keep those hopes alive.
If De’Aaron Fox is to return in the reported week and a half, he will likely make his debut on December 23rd against the Houston Rockets. That game will be the beginning of a stretch that will see Sacramento play 10 of its next 12 games at home, with quick trips to Denver and Phoenix.
Fox’s return might be coming at the perfect time for the Sacramento Kings to set themselves up for a playoff run down the stretch.