Suns All-Star Booker out at least 4 weeks with groin strain

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Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker, wearing black, sits on the bench next to forward Torrey Craig in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Denver Nuggets, Sunday, Dec. 25, 2022, in Denver. Booker, who was returning from an injury, played briefly in the first quarter before leaving the floor for the locker room and then returning to the bench. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

PHOENIX – Phoenix Suns All-Star guard Devin Booker will miss at least four weeks with a left groin strain.

The team confirmed Booker's injury on Wednesday and said he'll be re-evaluated after the four weeks.

“It’s the nature of a guy who puts in a lot of work and lays everything on the line,” Suns coach Monty Williams said before Wednesday's game in Washington. “You’re going to run into this from time to time. I’m actually grateful, you know, that it wasn’t worse.”

The 26-year-old Booker has missed six of the last nine games because of hamstring and groin ailments. He tried to return for the team's Christmas Day matchup against the Denver Nuggets, but played just four minutes before having to leave the game.

He returned to Phoenix for further evaluation while the team continued its six-game trip.

Williams did not necessarily think Booker's early exit Sunday was the result of a hasty return.

“In this case with Book, every box, to my knowledge, was checked,” Williams said. “Before you put a guy back on the floor you have to do that. You just run into stuff.”

Now it looks as if Booker is on the shelf for at least a month. He is averaging a career-high 27.1 points and already topped 50 points twice this season.

The Suns currently have a 20-15 record and are in fifth place in the Western Conference. Several players have missed time with injuries while forward Jae Crowder hasn't played all season because the Suns are trying to work out a trade for the disgruntled veteran.


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