The Phoenix Suns merry-go-round at the center position continues. This afternoon, it was announced that Frank Kaminsky would be out indefinitely due to a stress reaction in his right knee.
Put simply, a stress reaction happens when excessive damage or stress occurs on a specific bone area. So for Kaminsky, he does not seem to have suffered any structural damage at this point, but does need to refrain from basketball activities to avoid doing so.
Kaminsky missed Phoenix’s last two games against the Dallas Mavericks, but largely contributed to the team’s upsurge over the past few weeks, filling in perfectly as Deandre Ayton worked his way back from his own injury.
Averaging 10.6 points and a career-high 4.6 rebounds per game so far this year, the Suns now lose a marquee role player likely for several weeks. Kaminsky also finds himself shooting career-bests 54.5 percent from the field and 90.0 percent from the charity stripe.
But even aside from his on-court impact, few players seemed to spur locker room comradery better than Kaminsky. Although the Suns surely expect him to stick around as he heals up, his pending absence at team practices and on the bench still feels like a gut punch, especially for a team like the Phoenix currently firing on all cylinders.
As far as stress reactions and their typical healing timelines go, their history with NBA players is not one of fast returns.
For reference, Seth Curry experienced a stress reaction in his left leg while with the Dallas Mavericks in 2017. The Mavs initially ruled Curry out indefinitely, but then ruled him out for the season after determining that he required surgery four months later.
Jrue Holiday also suffered a stress reaction in his right leg while playing for the New Orleans Pelicans in 2015. It was originally implied that Holiday would miss 2-4 weeks, but he aggravated the injury while trying to work back, and then did not return until three months after that.
At the time of his injury, Monty Williams was Holiday’s coach, finishing up his last season in the bayou. Having seen what the injury can do to his players beforehand, expect him and the Suns to proceed with great caution while dealing with Kaminsky. He likely sits out for several weeks, rather than the failed 2-4 week timeline formerly given to Holiday.