Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander won’t be available for the start of training camp and the preseason, the team announced Wednesday.
According to the Thunder, Gilgeous-Alexander has been diagnosed with a Grade 2 MCL sprain in his left knee and will be re-evaluated in two weeks. Oklahoma City’s preseason schedule will tip off in 12 days.
Gilgeous-Alexander, 24, has been the Thunder’s leading scorer over the last two seasons, averaging 23.7 points per game in 2020-21 and 24.5 PPG in ’21-22. However, he has missed 63 games due to injuries over those two years and is now battling another health issue this fall. A right ankle ailment ended Gilgeous-Alexander’s season early in the spring.
Given that the Thunder have been firmly in rebuilding mode since 2020, it’s fair to wonder if the team is being overly cautious when it comes to Gilgeous-Alexander’s injuries and whether he would’ve played in more than 91 games over the last two seasons if the club was vying for a playoff spot. Still, with 2022-23 expected to be another lottery-bound year in Oklahoma City, it seems safe to assume that cautious approach will continue.