Monday, January 17, 2022

Nuggets monitoring Bones Highland ankle injury trend: “He’s too valuable for us to miss the game”

The Nuggets are monitoring an unfortunate trend that hampered an otherwise spectacular start to the NBA season for rookie guard Bones Highland.

Ankle injury.

Hyland made it tough on Thursday to play against the Hornets at the Ball Arena, despite entering the game with a “probable” designation. Hyland twisted his right ankle last night in Oklahoma City. The 21-year-old guard also lost several games last month after spraining his left ankle.

“It’s unfortunate because the ankle injury keeps reoccurring, which completely upsets him,” coach Michael Malone said before tipoff on Thursday. “But seeing him in our little shootaround, talking to him and our trainers, he should be able to go – which is important. He’s proven to be a man off the bench who is a scoring spark. A man Who can take his own shot.”

Hyland broke the Hawks last week with a career-high 24 points. His ankles show no concern for long, as Hyland works back toward full health.

“I don’t know what was causing his ankle condition in the draft,” Malone said. “It’s just a matter of making sure you’re taping or bracing your ankle. But sometimes you just can’t stop it. You’re playing there and you roll it on someone else’s foot. Happens.” Now, he has to go to proper rehab to avoid missing any more games.

“He’s too valuable for us to remember the Games.”

It is not uncommon for young NBA players to manage ankle issues, especially those with a quick-twitch blast and build similar to Hyland’s. Just ask Malone. He was an assistant coach for the Golden State Warriors (2011–13) when future two-time league MVP Steph Curry managed his ankle problems.

“(Curry) was rolling his ankle while dribbling the ball across the floor. I’m not kidding. It was a real concern,” Malone said. “The idea was: can we build with this guy ? Is she unwell enough? …he did surgery on all those ligaments there and tightened them all in a way. He is devoting himself to do whatever (necessary) to be able to go out there and do his job.

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