Late in third quarter of Tuesday’s game between the Washington Wizards and Portland Trail Blazers, Anfernee Simons elevated for a shot and came down uncomfortably on his right ankle, which he seemed to roll pretty aggressively. As team trainers tended to him, Simons stayed put on the court for little while before three trainers and Jusuf Nurkic lifted him to his feet. Simons didn’t put any wait on his right foot as he was helped off the floor and into the locker room.
Anfernee Simons went down with an apparent ankle injury and had to be helped to the locker room #RipCitypic.twitter.com/lNVCIi9s0I
— 𝐓𝐚𝐥𝐤𝐢𝐧’ 𝐍𝐁𝐀 (@_Talkin_NBA) February 15, 2023
He’s since been ruled out for the remainder of the night.
INJURY UPDATE: Anfernee Simons suffered a right ankle sprain in the 3Q of tonight’s game vs. WAS. He will not return.
— Trail Blazers PR (@TrailBlazersPR) February 15, 2023
The Blazers entered Tuesday’s contest already without starting center Jusuf Nurkic through at least the All-Star Break, so Simons’ injury could be another brutal blow to a team fighting for a playoff berth.
For Simons, it’s especially tough. He’d built upon his breakout second half from last year and was slated to participate in the three-point contest at All-Star Weekend alongside teammate Damian Lillard. Simons has established himself as a premier offensive talent this season and proven integral to Portland’s fifth-ranked offense.
Through 55 games, the slippery fifth-year guard was averaging 21.4 points, 4.2 assists and 2.7 rebounds on 58.8 percent true shooting (.451/.381/.910 split). Together, he and Lillard form one of the league’s most potent scoring duos. Hopefully, Simons’ recovery goes as smoothly as possible and he can return to help power Portland’s playoff push.