Rockets have historic injury list ahead of Friday’s game in Milwaukee

·3 min read

With a tough road back-to-back looming on Friday night in Milwaukee and Saturday in Utah, the struggling Houston Rockets (16-50) enter with one of the longest injury reports in NBA history. Of the 17 players currently under contract with the team, 13 are listed with various ailments.

In a 2020-21 season defined by widespread player injuries and roster changes, it seems only fitting that health concerns remain a leading storyline as the season winds down. Houston, which owns the league’s worst record, has six games left to play until the May 16 finale.

Of the 13 players on Houston’s injury list, eight are already designated to be out, while another is doubtful. Four others are questionable.


John Wall (right hamstring strain)
Avery Bradley (personal reasons)
Sterling Brown (left knee soreness)
Dante Exum (left calf strain)
Eric Gordon (right groin strain)
David Nwaba (right wrist sprain)
Kevin Porter Jr. (left ankle sprain)
D.J. Wilson (health and safety protocols)


Danuel House Jr. (right ankle sprain)


Christian Wood (right ankle soreness)
Jae’Sean Tate (left knee contusion)
Kelly Olynyk (right ankle soreness)
DJ Augustin (left ankle sprain)

Fully available (not listed on report):

Armoni Brooks
DaQuan Jeffries
Anthony Lamb
KJ Martin

New additions to the “out” list are Porter and Bradley, with Porter spraining his ankle during Wednesday’s loss to Philadelphia. Wood was upgraded from out to questionable, while Olynyk is a new addition to the questionable tier with a sore right ankle. Tate missed Wednesday’s game due to health and safety protocols, which he now appears to be out of, but his playing status remains uncertain due to the knee contusion.

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The Rockets are reportedly poised to sign young guard Khyri Thomas to a 10-day contract, but it’s not yet clear if he will be available for Friday’s game — since the NBA has strict entry protocols this season for new players due to COVID-19 testing requirements. As of late Thursday, the deal with Thomas was not yet official, and thus the team had yet to comment on whether he might be available to help the roster shortage.


Rockets to sign 2018 second-round draft pick Khyri Thomas

For a game to proceed, NBA teams must have at least eight players dressed out and technically available to play. However, a team can choose not to play certain “active” players. For example, in Wednesday’s game, the Rockets met the eight-man requirement by having Augustin on the active list. However, he did not ultimately play due to his ankle sprain, as has been the case in all games since April 12. Once Porter went out with his own ankle sprain, Houston used only six players (Olynyk, Brooks, Jeffries, Lamb, Martin, and Bradley) for the game’s duration.

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Friday’s game, however, could be more complicated — since at the moment, Houston isn’t even assured of having enough active bodies to fill out a five-man starting lineup. In addition, the Rockets probably don’t want to be too aggressive with bringing any injured players back early, since they have a second game in 24 hours looming on Saturday in Utah.

Understandably, given the widespread injuries, the Rockets did not practice on Thursday. As a result, there were no updates from head coach Stephen Silas about the situation. Assuming there is no postponement, which would have to be agreed to by the league office, Houston’s next media availability session will come on Friday in Milwaukee.


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