What's this, a positive development involving the 2021-22 Houston Rockets? Christian Wood, who left the Rockets' game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday in the second quarter and was in a walking boot after the 114-110 victory, is officially listed as probable for their game against the Orlando Magic on Friday. Before the injury report dropped, ESPN's Tim MacMahon reported that Wood's ankle sprain is not considered serious and he's not expected to miss an extended period of time.
Wood's injury threatened to disrupt the first bit of momentum Houston has had all season. Eight days ago, the Rockets had lost 15 straight games and only had a single win on their resume. Then they upset the Chicago Bulls, eked out an overtime victory over the Charlotte Hornets and took two games from the Thunder in a home-and-home. Wood had a season-high 33 points, 16 rebounds, three assists and two blocks against Charlotte, shooting 13-for-19 in 41 minutes. He followed that up with a 24-point, 21-rebound, three-block performance in the first OKC game, but only logged nine minutes in the second because of the sprained ankle.
"Last game, I felt like I was back," Wood told reporters after stuffing the stat sheet against the Thunder, via the Houston Chronicle's Jonathan Feigen. "Tonight, I'm starting to get to the groove I was in last year when I was playing with James Harden and it feels good."
Houston is 5-16 on the season, and it ranks 27th in offense and 26th in net rating, per Cleaning The Glass. If it's going to get its act together, it needs Wood to stay in that groove. At his best, he can be a dominant roll man, with the ability to mix in pick-and-pop 3s and some off-the-dribble stuff.
In related news, Houston guard Kevin Porter Jr. is listed as doubtful for Friday's game against Orlando. He aggravated a thigh contusion on Wednesday, and ESPN reported that he might miss some time. Rookie Jalen Green, who has missed the Rockets' last three games with a hamstring injury, remains out.