The Phoenix Suns reportedly will be without Deandre Ayton on Thursday.
Ayton was ruled out of Game 6 of the Western Conference semifinals series against the Denver Nuggets, who lead the series 3-2, due to a rib contusion, according to The Athletic's Shams Charania.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) May 11, 2023
Ayton took a shot after colliding with Nuggets guard Bruce Brown in the first quarter of the Suns' blowout loss Tuesday in Game 5. He said after the game he was "fine," but he struggled to get up in the moments after he hit Brown.
Deandre Ayton was in pain from his bandaged lower right rib cage at his locker after Game 5.
Ayton said he’s “fine” from the “bone-on-bone” collision with Nuggets’ Bruce Brown, who kneed him as Brown drove to the hole in 1Q. Ayton couldn’t run back on offense after that play. pic.twitter.com/PLUfA6yNM0
— DANA (@iam_DanaScott) May 10, 2023
Ayton finished the game with 14 points and 9 rebounds in 32 minutes in the 118-102 loss. He has averaged 10.8 points and 8.2 rebounds so far in the series.
It's unclear how severe the rib contusion is, but it's impacting Ayton enough that he has to miss Thursday's potential elimination game. It's unclear if he'll be able to return this series, should the Suns extend it to a Game 7, which would be Sunday in Denver. Phoenix is also without star Chris Paul, who has been dealing with a groin injury for most of the series.