The Blazers announced on Friday that Anfernee Simons has a torn UCL in his right (shooting) thumb. Simons, who apparently suffered the injury in Wednesday’s Opening Night loss to the LA Clippers, is now set to undergo surgery and miss the next four-to-six weeks.
The 24-year-old Simons was expected to be Portland’s primary offensive creator this season. He averaged a career-high 21.1 points per game last year (tops among the Blazers’ non-Lillard players) and got off to a solid start with 18 points on Wednesday against the Clippers. But Simons now looks poised to be out until early-to-mid-December, potentially costing him around 20 regular season games.
In Simons’ absence, rookie Scoot Henderson, second-year Shaedon Sharpe, and veteran Malcolm Brogdon will have to pick up the slack in the Blazers backcourt. Jerami Grant and Deandre Ayton should see increased shot attempts as well, but there is nothing good about Simons’ injury for a Portland team that is very much in flux right now.