Domantas Sabonis says his avulsion fracture has healed
Oct 2, 2023, 3:18 PM | Updated: 4:35 pm
(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
It was Media Day around the NBA on Monday, and the Sacramento Kings took the court at the Golden 1 Center practice facility to take photos, meet with local media, and much more.
One important question was answered during Monday’s media availabilities as All-Star center Domantas Sabonis revealed that his avulsion fracture of his right thumb has healed, and he is cleared to participate in basketball activities.
Sabonis told the media that he took the offseason to rehab his hand and did not need surgery to repair the injury.
The 27-year-old spent most of the summer going through non-contact practice sessions and is now on track to be available for Sacramento to begin the season.
After an impressive 17-13 start to the season, Kings fans let out a collective gasp when Sabonis suffered a hand injury during a loss to the Washington Wizards on December 23rd.
That gasp turned into a groan once reports indicated that the three-time All-Star suffered an avulsion fracture to his right thumb, an injury many expected to keep the center sidelined for four to six weeks.
Instead of undergoing surgery to repair the fracture, Sabonis missed just one game before returning to action with a brace that was designed to stabilize the thumb and keep the big man on the floor, a move that paid off in incalculable ways as Sacramento went on to finish with the third-best record in the Western Conference and clinch a spot in the NBA Playoffs.
Even while playing with a broken thumb, Sabonis had one of the best seasons from a center in the league’s lengthy history, averaging 19.1 points, 12.3 rebounds (led the NBA), and 7.3 assists (career-high) while shooting 61 percent from the field.
Only one other player in NBA history has averaged 19-12-7 while shooting 60 percent or higher from the field: Wilt Chamberlain.
The star center led the league in rebounds per game, total rebounds, and double-doubles (65) while also ranking top-five in win shares (12.6, second), offensive win shares (9.6, second), and assists (573, fifth).
Only two-time MVP Nikola Jokic (29) had more triple-doubles than Sabonis this season, as the Kings center finished the year with 14.
Once Sacramento’s season ended, there was some uncertainty surrounding Sabonis’ plans to address the injured hand.
During his post-NBA Draft press conference on June 22nd, Kings general manager Monte McNair told the media that he was unsure of Sabonis’ plan to have the thumb repaired surgically or through rest and rehab.
While McNair didn’t specify if Sabonis would have surgery or not, he did state that he expects the big man to be ready for training camp when the team arrives in late September.
Weeks later, Sabonis was not listed on Lithuania’s roster for the FIBA Basketball World Cup, with head coach Kazys Maksvytis stating that the center underwent surgery to repair the injury.
“The main reasons behind Domantas’ availability this summer was his contract and health,” Maksvytis said in a press conference on July 12th. “He tried to recover without the surgery, but it didn’t work, and he lost time. After the surgery, everything takes longer. He apologized for not coming and promised to be available next summer.”
Hours following Maksvytis’ statement, a league source indicated that Sabonis had not had surgery and is instead going througha. strict rehab process that would make him unable to participate in the World Cup.
Fast forward to Media Day, and we finally have concrete clarity on Sabonis’ status for camp and preseason.
Now that Sabonis’ injury has healed, one can only wonder: What will the big man do in 2023-24 with a fully-healthy hand?
Sacramento Kings 2023-24 Preseason Schedule
- Sunday, October 8th – Sacramento Kings @ Toronto Raptors – 5 PM PST (Preseason Opener)
- Wednesday, October 11th – Sacramento Kings @ Los Angeles Lakers – 7 PM PST (in Anaheim, CA)
- Sunday, October 15th – Sacramento Kings vs. Golden State Warriors – 7 PM PST
- Wednesday, October 18th – Sacramento Kings @ Golden State Warriors – 7 PM PST
- Thursday, October 19th – Sacramento Kings vs. Utah Jazz – 7 PM PST
Sacramento Kings 2023-24 Regular Season Schedule
- Tuesday, October 24th – NBA regular season begins
- Wednesday, October 25th – Sacramento Kings @ Utah Jazz – 6 PM (Season Opener)
- Friday, October 27th – Sacramento Kings vs. Golden State Warriors – 7 PM (Home Opener)