Deni Avdija hasn't had an easy rookie season for the Washington Wizards. Sharing the floor with Russell Westbrook and Bradley Beal has limited his shot attempts, his playing time has been inconsistent, and losing is often a new experience for top young players. But things hit a new low on Wednesday when Avdija suffered what the team has described as a right ankle injury and had to leave the floor in a wheelchair.
An X-Ray revealed that Avdija suffered a hairline fracture and will now be out for the remainder of the season, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. He is not expected to need surgery, though, so there is at least that silver lining for the rookie.
The injury came at the end of the second quarter. Avdija had just gotten a defensive rebound and gone up for a layup on the other end of the floor. That layup attempt was blocked by Andrew Wiggins, though, and Avdjia landed awkwardly on his ankle, which seemed to twist unnaturally on the fall. His foot was immediately covered by a towel.
The Wizards entered Wednesday having won five games in a row and seven of their past eight. That has them tied with the Chicago Bulls for No. 10 in the Eastern Conference, and reaching the top 10 would allow the Wizards, in what has largely been a disappointing season, to sneak into the play-in round of the postseason.
But losing Avdija hurts on a number of levels. The Wizards have never been a particularly deep team, and after trading Troy Brown Jr. at the deadline, have even less to work with on the wings. Now, reserves like Isaac Bonga may need to play steadier roles if the Wizards hope to continue this playoff push.