Nicolas Batum suffered the injury last Thursday during a French National Team game against Serbia in Antibes and did not suit up for Saturday’s contest. Have no fear, the sprain is not believed to be serious, though it does highlight the importance of resting; something Batum seems to struggle with.
Many fans were concerned back in April, when Batum declared that he would rejoin the French National Team while recovering from a superior labral tear (shoulder injury). Fortunately, he was able to avoid surgery and play without further aggravation, but this ankle sprain marks another injury that may come back to nag him in the future.
Bear in mind, this is probably a molehill of an issue. I just hate to see these little things happen, as anyone with ankle injuries will tell you (points to self), while they do heal, the damage compounds. Batum will rest until he is able to retake the floor, but every minute he plays before returning to Portland is discomforting.
It’s similar to when Damian Lillard was announced for this year’s Summer League Roster. Until it was revealed that he would only be there to offer support from the bench, fans were left crossing their fingers that he wouldn’t get hurt when he shouldn’t have been playing in the first place. Risking injury at unnecessary junctures can bite you a lot harder than Batum was just bitten. In a sense, we are fortunate.
All we can ask is that he take it easy. Last year’s Timberwolves will tell you, a shiny new roster isn’t worth a whole lot when the starters can’t stay healthy. That being said, he should be back to 100% within a few weeks. With pre-season still 7 weeks away, there is no cause for alarm – just frustration and mild concern.