By Randy Renner
Thunder backup forward and first team glue guy Nick Collison will miss "at least 10 days," with a sprained left ankle according to Thunder head coach Scott Brooks. "He'll be out until sometime in April."
"There's that saying, if you don't laugh, you're gonna cry, sometimes I feel like crying," Brooks said.
Collison was finishing up one of his best games of the season Friday night against Atlanta when he rolled his left ankle.
"I don't feel very good right now," Collison told reporters after OKC's thrilling win over the Hawks. He left the arena in a walking boot and on crutches.
The news didn't get any better when he arrived at the practice gym Saturday morning.
"Nick has obviously been a fixture in what we do and there's never a good time and the timing on this is not good but we're gonna have the next man up mentality like we've always had," Brooks said.
On the bright side, center Enes Kanter was back out on the practice floor, moving around well.
"He has looked a lot better, he's definitely progressing well and we'll just see how he feels after practice today and then tomorrow," Brooks added.
Kanter bruised his right arm and sprained his left ankle during Wednesday's win over Boston. He could not walk without assistance in the lockerroom after that game but has looked steadily better since.
If Kanter can't go against Miami on Sunday, Brooks will likely start Steven Adams at center and rookie Mitch McGary at forward then for backups use a mix of Perry Jones III, Steve Novak and that really tall usher up in Loud City.
Collison was the last player on the Oklahoma City roster who has been with the team the entire season who hadn't missed a game due to injury in what has become an injury plagued season like no other.
Just yesterday Thunder GM Sam Presti announced superstar forward Kevin Durant was being shut down indefinitely while doctors try to figure out why his surgically repaired right foot is still hurting. Just Tuesday, forward Serge Ibaka underwent arthroscopic knee surgery and is likely out the rest of the regular season.
With everything else that's gone wrong last night's emotional win over the best team in the Eastern Conference couldn't have come at a better time.
"You'd think after a win like that I would have had a great night's sleep, but I didn't," Brooks laughed, "You're always thinking about the next game, but yeah it was a great performance on a lot of different levels, guys really stepped up. Knowing the news of the day the guys really came out and battled, we made a lot of great plays for each other on both ends of the floor and the crowd was really involved. It was just a great night, a great way to spend a Friday night inside Chesapeake Energy Arena."
And then came Saturday's news and more than likely another sleepless night for Scott Brooks.