Sasha Vezenkov working to return from grade three right ankle sprain

Mar 28, 2024, 7:03 PM

Sasha Vezenkov #7 of the Sacramento Kings shoots the ball against the Golden State Warriors in the ...

SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 28: Sasha Vezenkov #7 of the Sacramento Kings shoots the ball against the Golden State Warriors in the fourth quarter during the NBA In-Season Tournament game at Golden 1 Center on November 28, 2023 in Sacramento, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

On January 22nd, the Atlanta Hawks came into Golden 1 Center to face off against the Sacramento Kings. During the action, Sasha Vezenkov checked in for the fifth consecutive night despite being questionable with a left ankle injury he suffered in practice days prior.

Unfortunately, the reigning Euroleague MVP suffered a moderate right ankle sprain after six minutes of action. Slightly more than two weeks (and seven games) later, Vezenkov returned to the floor with consecutive appearances against the Pistons and Nuggets.

February 10th, one day after his 15-minute night against Denver, Sasha Vezenkov re-injured his right ankle at a team practice. The 6’9″ forward has not been played since that grade three right ankle sprain.

Re-evaluation was scheduled for four to six weeks from that point, and as of today (March 28th), the six-week mark is a few days behind us. Vezenkov’s first reported return to practice came ten days ago, on March 18th. With five games in seven nights, including three road matchups and a trip to Canada, Sacramento had limited practice opportunities.

With two days off, the Kings found time to practice Thursday. “I’m feeling better,” Vezenkov said. “Getting to the right direction. Trying hard every day. Unfortunately, it’s the second injury to the same leg.”

YouTube video

Grade three ankle sprains are no joke. It was tough for Vezenkov to move around for the first couple weeks, but that he’s done his best to maintain game-shape ready when the time comes. As for now, there’s no clear timeline.

The 28-year-old shared that this stretch (missing 21 straight and 28 of the last 30) is the longest he’s been sidelined due to an injury in his career. Keep in mind, he’s been playing profesional basketball since he was 16.

With daily variance in pain levels and proper movement he’s unsure when he’ll be able to return but also acknowledged that it’s more mental than physical at this point. “I need to feel good,” Sasha Vezenkov said. “It’s stressful. I want to help the team, but I’m trying to be 100 percent to be ready to help the team.”

With Trey Lyles simultaneously unavailable, the Sacramento Kings could greatly benefit from Vezenkov’s return to action with ten games remaining in his NBA rookie campaign. Getting game reps prior to the postseason is probably a good idea, too.

But, Vezenkov first needs to feel fully comfortbale, confident, and healthy coming off the longest inavailability of his 12-year professional career.

When is the next Sacramento Kings game?

Sacramento and Dallas will take two days off before returning to the table on Friday for another important playoff-implications matchup at Golden 1 Center.

Be sure to tune in right here on Sactown Sports 1140 for all of your Kings vs. Mavericks coverage, beginning at 5:30 PM PST on Game Night before a 7:00 PM PST tip-off from downtown Sacramento.

Upcoming Schedule

  • Friday, March 29th – Sacramento Kings vs. Dallas Mavericks – 7:00 PM PST
  • Sunday, March 31st – Sacramento Kings vs. Utah Jazz – 6:00 PM PST
  • Tuesday, April 2nd – Sacramento Kings vs. Los Angeles Clippers – 7:00 PM PST
  • Thursday, April 4th – Sacramento Kings @ New York Knicks – 4:30 PM PST
  • Friday, April 5th – Sacramento Kings @ Boston Celtics – 4:30 PM PST

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