Booker out at least 1 more week with groin strain
Booker has not played since Christmas Day against the Denver Nuggets, when he returned from a three-game absence at the time due to groin soreness. However, he played just over four minutes before exiting with a groin strain. The team said he would miss at least four weeks, after which he would be re-evaluated.
Head coach Monty Williams said Sunday that the team was exercising caution with Booker's injury and that the Suns' leading scorer still had to satisfy plenty of criteria before he's cleared to play again.
"We've got a lot of boxes to check before he can even approach that," Williams said then, courtesy of Arizona Republic's Duane Rankin. "He's had non-contact practices, but that's not the same as getting beat up a little bit and playing in three-on-three, four-on-four, five-on-five, playing in three-minute spurts, which is on average what you do in a game before there is a whistle.
"Between 2.5 and three minutes, that's where you build your conditioning, endurance to get back on the floor and play the way we play. He hasn't done that yet."
The 26-year-old Booker has missed 15 consecutive games for Phoenix, which has gone 6-9 during his absence and fallen as low as 12th in the Western Conference. The team's fortunes have reversed slightly in recent days, however, with a four-game winning streak lifting the Suns into seventh.
- Refs confirm missed foul call for LeBron at end of regulation vs. Celtics
- Crowning The King: Chronicling LeBron's path to Kareem's scoring record
- Report: Pelicans' Murphy invited to Slam Dunk Contest
- Turner agrees to 2-year, $60M extension with Pacers
- Leonard scores 32, Clippers beat Hawks for 5th straight win