Big Al Out Two Weeks With Ankle Sprain
Al Jefferson was amid an excellent performance against the Philadelphia 76ers, when a great night turned in an instant.
With 9:42 left in the fourth quarter, Big Al rolled to the rim to collect an offensive rebound but landed awkwardly in traffic and immediately reached for his left ankle and writhed in pain. No. 7 checked out as the Indiana Pacers held on for a 107-94 victory. X-rays after the game came back negative, and the big man was optimistic about his recovery.
“Anybody knows that when they roll their ankle like that, that’s instant pain, throbbing pain,” Al said. “It just takes a minute for it to go down, but everything seems normal.”
Indiana announced that Big Al will be out of commission for at least two weeks.
Before his injury, Al was having an incredibly productive game. In just 11 minutes on Sunday, Al went 6-of-9 from the floor for 14 points with seven rebounds.
After Philadelphia took a one-point lead with 3:48 left in the first, the Pacers scored the last nine points of the quarter to take a 27-18 lead heading into the second. Big Al scored four points in the run, including a layup that came on an over the shoulder pass from Paul George.
Al’s short jumper with 10:52 left in the second pushed the lead to 11, but the 76ers outscored the Pacers 21-10 over the next five minutes to tie the game at 41. Indiana opened a slim six-point lead at halftime by finishing the quarter on a 10-4 run.
The Pacers broke the game open in the third by scoring 13 straight points to push their lead to 19 with 6:09 left in the quarter. Leading by 17 with 1:10 left in the third, an 8-3 finish to the quarter by the Sixers put the lead at 12 heading into the final period.
Al’s personal 6-0 run to start the fourth increased the lead to 13 and Philadelphia got no closer than 11 the rest of the way.
“I just have to get through it. This is probably my 600th ankle sprain,” Al said with a laugh. “So I just have to get through it and get back on the court as quickly as I can.”