When Matt Barnes flopped to the floor after taking minimal contact from Jared Dudley, he caused a chain of events that ended with Dudley falling (thanks to Barnes) into the side of Robin Lopez' left leg. Robin went the floor holding his knee in pain and the replay clearly showed Dudley hit Robin in the side and bent the knee inward -- not a direction it's designed to move.
The injury could have been much, much worse -- just ask the Portland Trail Blazers, who have four players who have undergone at least two knee surgeries since 2007, plus former ASU Sun Devil Jeff Pendergraph, who blew out his ACL this preseason. Fortunately, the reports today are that Lopez suffered a "mild sprain" and will miss one or two weeks, which should equate to four to seven games.
The injury, which happened during the second quarter of the Suns game against the Lakers, is a set back for Lopez, who was still recovering from last season's back injury that caused nerve issues in his right leg and robbed him of the explosiveness and quickness that made him so special last season. The Suns were hopeful that, with time, he would regain his full athleticism and it even seemed early in last night's game that Robin was moving better.
An even more interesting part of the report is that the Suns will look to sign a big man to fill a spot on the roster. This means they aren't ready to move rookie Gani Lawal into the rotation and they aren't sold on Garret Siler getting big minutes behind Channing Frye, who will likely move into the starting center role.
It remains to be seen what options are out there for available big men that the Suns can sign. Perhaps Dwayne Jones will return to Phoenix for a third time.
[Note by Seth Pollack, 11/15/10 6:21 PM MST ]
Dwayne Jones is going to China and doesn't have the size the Suns were looking for. It seems like Earl Barron will be joining the Suns as soon as Wednesday in Miami according to Paul Coro.