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Saturday, December 14, 2013

Suns' center Alex Len remaining positive despite ankle injury

By on 12/14/2013 12:15:00 PM

The Phoenix Suns selected Alex Len with the fifth pick in the 2013 draft out of Maryland.  But the Suns and Len could not have anticipated the kind of start Len has had. Instead of practicing and playing, Len has been sitting and watching. He's missed 11 consecutive games and counting because of soreness in his left ankle. But there is some good news.

As reported by Craig Grialou of, Len's surgically repaired left ankle in May to help heal a stress fracture, is improving. Coach Jeff Hornacek said Len has been pain-free for several days and needs several more days before he sees the court again.

 "They say probably a couple of weeks," he answered when asked when he might return to practice. "(I'm) slowly progressing. The last two days I started doing more stuff in the weight room with my legs, just more movement stuff. Slowly coming back."
Len played the first two games and then was shut down for 18 days before playing a combined 10 minutes in back-to-back games.  But soreness followed, which resulted in the second shutdown after playing only 31 minutes in four games this season.

While he admitted to being frustrated, Len is remaining positive. Hornacekt knows the training staff is doing their best with Len to get him back on the court as soon as possible.
"The training staff has worked on certain issues and muscles that will help him from not getting sore. Once those get strong enough then they feel they'll give him the freedom to start practicing and then we'll build from there"
Len will have to work his way back into the mix behind starter Miles Plumlee, who is averaging 9.7 points 8.4 rebounds and 1.9 blocked shots, in 27.9 minutes per game.  Len played two years at Maryland and averaged 11.9 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.1 blocked shots last season.


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