Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic is one of the NBA's fastest-rising stars, but he will reportedly "miss several games" after he was diagnosed with a sprained left ankle Thursday night, according to ESPN.com's Adrian Wojnarowski.
Jokic emerged as a potential perennial All-Star last season when he averaged 16.7 points, 9.8 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game in 73 contests.
So far this season, Jokic is putting up 15.5 points, 10.6 boards and 4.6 dimes a night.
The Nuggets selected Jokic in the second round of the 2014 NBA draft, and after spending another year playing in his native Serbia, he made the leap to the NBA for the 2015-16 season.
It was apparent that Jokic had a chance to be a special player as he contributed 10.0 points and 7.0 rebounds per game as a key rotational player during his rookie campaign.
The 22-year-old is already one of the NBA's best centers, and he is the main player the young and competitive Nuggets are building around.
Jokic is so promising, in fact, that Denver traded another up-and-coming center in Jusuf Nurkic to the Portland Trail Blazers last season to clear more playing time for Jokic.
While that move has allowed Jokic to continue blossoming, it also hurt Denver's center depth.
Now that Jokic could be forced to miss some time, Denver will have to dip into its frontcourt reserves to replace his production.
Jokic is so versatile that it will take more than one player to step up, but the main beneficiaries in terms of playing time would likely be Mason Plumlee and Juan Hernangomez.
Denver will be far easier for the opposition to handle in the paint if Jokic is on the shelf, but the Nuggets have a deep and talented backcourt as well that will be forced to pick up the slack.