Domantas Sabonis isn’t able to play through his thumb injury after all.
Sacramento Kings center Domantas Sabonis (right thumb - avulsion fracture) has been ruled out vs. the Nuggets tonight.
— Jason Anderson (@JandersonSacBee) December 28, 2022
Sabonis first sustained the injury late in the Kings’ loss to the Washington Wizards on Friday. The team said on Monday that Sabonis was diagnosed with a fracture of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right thumb, but that he was going to play through the injury.
Yet after missing the team’s shootaround and Tuesday’s game, playing through the injury is no longer a viable option. It’s unclear how long Sabonis will be out. He has averaged 17.9 points and a league-best 12.4 rebounds this season. He was traded to Sacramento in the middle of last season as part of a deal that sent Buddy Hield, Tyrese Haliburton and Tristan Thompson to the Indiana Pacers.
The Kings enter Tuesday’s game, the first of a back-to-back matchup with the Nuggets, in sixth place in the Western Conference standings. They’ve won three of their past five.
Sabonis isn’t the only member of the Kings out Tuesday night and for the foreseeable future. Kings head coach Mike Brown entered the NBA’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols on Tuesday. It’s unclear when he’ll return. Assistant Jordi Fernandez will coach in his place.