Washington Wizards forward Deni Avdija will miss the rest of the season after X-rays revealed he suffered a hairline fracture in his right ankle during Wednesday's game against the Golden State Warriors, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
Wojnarowski noted Avdija is not expected to need surgery.
Avdija was taken off the court in a wheelchair late in the second quarter while attempting a contested shot:
He was ruled out for the remainder of the game shortly after exiting.
This is a difficult setback for the Wizards considering they selected the 20-year-old with the No. 9 overall pick of the 2020 NBA draft and made him a major cornerstone of their future. He is averaging 6.3 points, 4.9 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game in his first season in the NBA.
Avdija won the MVP award in Israel's Ligat Winner and played in the EuroLeague prior to coming to the NBA. He was known for his versatility, defensive ability and playmaking skills. It was something of a surprise that he fell to No. 9, but the Wizards picked him up when given the chance.
For now, though, Washington will need to replace his production elsewhere in the lineup.
Look for Davis Bertans and Garrison Mathews to see more time at the forward spot while Avdija is sidelined. The backcourt duo of Russell Westbrook and Bradley Beal will continue carrying the offense, but the Wizards are a deeper and more dangerous team when their rookie is healthy.
After five straight wins have brought the squad back into playoff contention, the latest loss could be devastating for Washington.