Desmond Bane out at least six weeks with ankle sprain, as nightmare Grizzlies season continues

A rough 2023-24 season for the Memphis Grizzlies just got even more difficult, as shooting guard Desmond Bane will miss at least six weeks with a Grade 3 ankle sprain, the team announced on Sunday. Bane carried the brunt of the scoring load during Ja Morant’s 25-game suspension and was expected to do the same once Morant underwent season-ending shoulder surgery. Instead the Grizzlies will have to look elsewhere for the next month and half.

Bane joins a growing list of Grizzlies who have missed significant time this season, most notably Morant and center Steven Adams, who was ruled out prior to the season due to knee surgery. On Thursday the Grizzlies announced that guard Marcus Smart would miss at least six weeks with a hand injury and, in the same press release that provided the Bane update, Memphis said that forward Jake LaRavia would also miss at least three weeks with an ankle sprain.

After a dismal start to the season, Morant’s return temporarily breathed life into the Grizzlies, as they went 6-3 in the games he played. But now, sitting at 14-25 without Morant and with extended absences for Bane and Smart, it’s hard to envision a late run into the thick of the playoff race.

Bane is in the midst of a breakout season, averaging career highs in points (24.4) and assists (5.3) while maintaining remarkable efficiency from the field. He’s shooting 38% on 8.6 3-point attempts per game and making a career-best 55% of his 2-pointers. The team’s offensive rating has improved by 5.5 points per 100 possessions with Bane on the floor this season, so the Grizzlies could struggle on that end during his absence.

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