Phoenix Suns: Monty Williams Gives Update on Deandre Ayton’s MRI Test

Phoenix Suns, Deandre Ayton. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Phoenix Suns, Deandre Ayton. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

The Phoenix Suns continue to tread water without starting center Deandre Ayton.

Coming off a stellar win against the Atlanta Hawks, the Valley Boys currently look like a threatening force all the same. But regardless, they still seem incomplete without their star big man. JaVale McGee and Frank Kaminsky have filled the void left behind by Ayton quite admirably thus far, but even amidst the winning, everyone still knows that this team is at its best with Ayton on the floor.

A right leg contusion which Ayton endured last week has him handcuffed to the bench yet again. Although both Ayton and the Suns have shown little concern over the injury, he still underwent testing this past weekend.

Yesterday, Monty Williams shared those test results, distributing some good and bad news.

First and foremost, Williams explained that Ayton’s scan came back “clean,” noting that Ayton avoided any structural damage. For those imagining the worst case scenario, this warrants as a major sigh of relief, eliminating the possibility of Ayton suffering long term damage.

However, Williams’s mentioning of the “pain” and “soreness” that Ayton keeps experiencing while moving around warrants some concern. You never want your guys playing with discomfort, and if Ayton still feels this way after missing two games this week, he and the team need to move forward with caution.

Put simply, Ayton just needs extra time off to heal, making his absence for tonight’s game understandable.

Although the Suns certainly want to enact revenge on the Sacramento Kings this evening after losing to them on a buzzer-beating triple earlier this year, holding Ayton back strikes the right thing to do. Endangering a marquee player for short-term success is wildly foolish—and the Suns are not that kind of team.

At the same time, history endorses an Ayton return sooner rather than later.

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If you count out his 25-game suspension after testing positive for a banned substance, Ayton has only missed 26 games during his entire career. As a durable player, and at his prime age from a health standpoint, it makes sense to expect a full return from Ayton within the coming days, even if not tonight.