De’Aaron Fox (foot soreness) questionable for Friday’s game vs Cleveland
After weeks of speculation regarding Sacramento Kings guard De’Aaron Fox’s health status, some clarity was provided on Thursday afternoon.
Just hours after The Sacramento Bee’s Jason Anderson shared a story that included some insight on Fox’s nagging foot bruise and lingering non-COVID illness, the Kings listed the guard as questionable for Friday night’s game against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
After jumping out to an All-Star-esque start to the season, Fox has looked out of sorts over the past five games. The 24-year-old has been seen limping during pauses in action, appeared more winded than usual, and has been uncharacteristically passive on offense.
De'Aaron Fox is listed as questionable due to foot soreness on the injury report for tomorrow's game in Cleveland.
— Frankie Cartoscelli (@FCartoscelli3) December 8, 2022
It has been known that Fox has been dealing with what was described as ‘general soreness’ and a non-COVID illness for the past 10 or so days, but things have seemed to be worsening for the guard as he continues to look off while working through injury and lingering effects of the illness.
Following Wednesday’s loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, Fox told Anderson that he has been dealing with right foot soreness, as a recent MRI revealed a foot bruise–one that Fox said cannot get worse if he plays on it, which he plans on doing. It comes down to pain management for Fox, but it’s clear that the pain is not going away quickly.
Fox is attempting to play through the injury and play to the best of his ability, but it’s possible that the team approaches the guard about taking some time off to allow the bruise to heal and the effects of the sickness to dissipate.
Over the first 17 games of the season, Fox was playing like an All-Star to the tune of 25.1 points, 4.9 rebounds, 6.1 assists, and 1.2 steals per game while shooting 53 percent from the field and 38 percent from three-point range.
The following five games for Fox haven’t been as impressive, as it’s clear that the foot injury is affecting his mobility and the sixth-year guard’s most excellent skill–his speed.
15.0 PTS | 5.0 REB | 4.2 AST | 0.6 STL | 1.0 BLK | 40% FG | 28% 3PT | 29.6 MIN
Without the ability to get downhill and get out in transition, Fox has been unable to go at opposing defenses with his usual aggression. That’s when Fox is truly at his best and when a dangerous Kings offense is at its scariest.
Sacramento has jumped out to an impressive 13-10 start to the season, and Fox has been a massive part of where the team is in the standings. Entering play on Friday, the Kings still have 59 games remaining in the season, meaning that there is still a lot of basketball to be played this season.
The Kings need a healthy De’Aaron Fox to be where they want to be come this spring, and that means it might be time to rest Fox for a decent portion–or the remainder–of this six-game road trip.
Davion got fans on their feet after this play 🙌 pic.twitter.com/kLDtkuwsiu
— Kings on NBCS (@NBCSKings) December 5, 2022
Sacramento’s depth has been a massive positive this season, and while there is never an ideal time for Fox to miss games, the fact that head coach Mike Brown has a backup guard like Davion Mitchell to turn to makes the change easier to digest.
Mitchell has thrived in a starting role during his brief career, holding averages of 17.6 points and 7.3 assists per game while shooting 45 percent from the field and 33 percent from beyond the arc over 20 opportunities.
If Fox has to miss time, the Kings have a solid backup in Mitchell, while other players like Malik Monk, Terence Davis, and Matthew Dellavedova can play more active roles when it comes to running the offense.
It’s a long season, and the Sacramento Kings need to protect their franchise guard. As hard as it might be for the team–and for Fox–to briefly shut it down, it’s the right move for the long haul.