Rockets star Christian Wood takes crucial step in return from ankle injury
Houston Rockets big man Christian Wood is close to returning to the floor.
Tim MacMahon of ESPN reported Wood has resumed basketball activities. He is unlikely to play in the team’s matchup with the Sacramento Kings on Thursday but is close to being activated.
Rockets center Christian Wood has resumed basketball activities, but a source told ESPN that Wood is unlikely to play vs. Kings tomorrow. Houston has lost 13 in a row since Wood, the Rockets’ leading scorer and rebounder, went down with a sprained right ankle.
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) March 10, 2021
Wood has not played since Feb. 6 due to a right ankle sprain. As MacMahon mentioned, the Rockets have lost 13 straight without him on the floor.
That last part is especially important for a Houston squad facing a lot of questions ahead of the March 25 trade deadline. The statuses of guys like John Wall, Victor Oladipo and P.J. Tucker are unclear. But Wood might just have done enough to stake his claim as the new franchise centerpiece in the post-James Harden era.
Wood was dominant early in the season. He averaged 22.0 points, 10.2 rebounds and 1.5 blocks through his first 17 games. He was shooting close to 55 percent from the field, including a very impressive 42.1 percent from beyond the arc on 4.5 attempts per game for the Rockets.
It certainly looked as though Wood was the next iteration of a star stretch-big. He excelled in pick-and-roll as a guy who could pop behind the three-point line for open triples or die to the rim for dunks and alley-oops. Wood also boasts tremendous athleticism, continuously beating opposing bigs to the point of attack and exploding to the rim.
The Rockets are in a serious funk, and general manager Rafael Stone has decisions to make in the next couple weeks. But Houston can look forward to the return of its young star in Wood.
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