Phoenix Suns: Cameron Payne gives Personal Update on Injury Return

Phoenix Suns, Cameron Payne. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Phoenix Suns, Cameron Payne. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

The injury bug bit the Phoenix Suns hard to start out the 2021-22 campaign, as they quickly lost starting center Deandre Ayton for a game with a leg contusion, and sparkplug point guard Cameron Payne to a hamstring strain.

Ayton returned to action Thursday night for Phoenix’s bout against the Houston Rockets, looking aggressive, mobile, and back to his full self. His 16-point and 11-rebound contributions helped the Suns earn their fourth victory this year, and surge above the .500 mark.

However, Payne failed to trade in his suit and tie for a jersey, still sitting out to rehab his injury.

Earlier this week, Monty Williams implied that Payne might return soon, with him even doing a bit more work than Ayton at practice. But yesterday, Payne hopped on Twitter and seemed to provide update for himself.

Payne neither confirmed nor denied his availability for Phoenix’s game tonight against the Atlanta Hawks, but this tweet does not exactly have much of a cryptic feel to it. Payne clearly feels better than he did a few days ago, making his return more likely than ever.

With Elfrid Payton struggling since his breakout performance against the Portland Trail Blazers, the Suns need Payne back as soon as possible. While Payton plays hard, he still looks unbalanced working within Phoenix’s floor-spaced offense, frequently attacking the rim and failing to spread the ball around.

Payton’s skillset and tendencies stand far more applicable to Phoenix’s system.

Payton shoots, passes, and sets up his teammates with ease. Even though Payne struggled during Phoenix’s first two games this season, everyone knows that he still carries the ability to provide a strong punch for Phoenix at any time.

Last year when Chris Paul became unavailable during the Western Conference Finals, he came up huge for the Suns, finishing with 29 points and nine assists en route to a victory. During the regular season, he also led the Suns from beyond the arc, shooting a crisp 44.0 percent from deep.

Next. NBA's New Rules Affecting the Suns Differently than Everyone Else. dark

With the Suns having turned their season around over this past week, adding their most dynamic scorer off the bench poises to only make them a more dangerous team down the line.