No. 2 overall pick Chet Holmgren is undergoing further evaluation on his injured foot, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter links), who says the Thunder fear Holmgren has suffered ligament damage.
As Charania explains, exams on Holmgren’s foot have shown potential torn ligaments, and the big man is getting additional opinions to determine the severity of the injury and to set a recovery timetable.
Holmgren’s injury occurred during a pro-am game in Seattle on Saturday — he left the contest after rolling his ankle. Reports at the time indicated the injury didn’t appear serious, but it sounds like there’s cause for real concern now that the young center has undergone more tests. That pro-am game had to be stopped early due to slippery court conditions that were deemed unsafe.
Holmgren, 20, was drafted behind only Paolo Banchero this June after averaging 14.1 points, 9.9 rebounds, and 3.7 blocks per game in 32 appearances (26.9 MPG) for Gonzaga during his first and only college season.
Holmgren’s ability to protect the rim and knock down three-pointers (.390 3PT%), along with his rare blend of length and athleticism, made him perhaps the most tantalizing prospect of the 2022 draft class, but his slender build raised questions about his ability to stay healthy going forward.
The Thunder aren’t expected to be a playoff team in 2022/23, but view Holmgren as one of the foundational pieces of their franchise in the long term, alongside Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Josh Giddey. We’ll provide more info on his foot injury once we know more.