The Oklahoma City Thunder announced today that point guard Cameron Payne has suffered an acute fracture to his fifth metatarsal. The guard injured his right foot during a team scrimmage on Tuesday. Payne will meet with his attending physician later this week to fully determine the next course of action.
Cameron Payne Suffers Foot Fracture
Payne, 22, had only just recovered from his previous foot injury before picking up his latest ailment. Injuries appear to be an issue for the promising guard. Payne underwent surgery in July to repair a Jones fracture in the same foot. Erik Horne of The Oklahoman noted that there was no timeline for Payne’s return, but Horne added that the recovery timetable is typically six to eight weeks. Last season, Payne played in 57 games but started just one. The point guard out of Murray State averaged 5.0 points, 1.9 assists, and 1.5 rebounds per game off the bench for Oklahoma City last season.
It’s doubtful that Payne will be healthy for the Thunder’s first game of the season, which will be against the Philadelphia 76ers on October 26th. With Payne out, the backup point guard minutes are likely to be filled by Ronnie Price. If not Price, then former second-round pick Semaj Christon will fight for backup minutes. Star point guard Russell Westbrook will hold down most of the starter minutes, as expected. The Thunder are lucky to have a guard with such an incredible engine in Westbrook. The All-Star averaged over 34 minutes per game last season, playing in all but two of OKC’s contests.
When Payne is once again healthy, the second year guard will continue his role as the backup to Westbrook. We saw more of Payne’s pre-game dancing last season than his abilities on the court. Payne averaged just 12.2 minutes per game in the 2015-16 season, a number that should rise this year, once he’s healthy. Payne has a lot of promise, but he’ll need to get healthy and focus more if he is to become a successful NBA player.