Myles Turner has a chip fracture in his left thumb, according to an official statement by the Indiana Pacers. Turner is expected to miss at least four weeks with this injury. Turner is consulting the team's doctors to properly repair his thumb. Luckily for Turner, the injury was on his non-shooting hand so he could still work on his shooting form and finishing with his right hand. His injury occured on Wednesday during the team's 102-91 win over the Boston Celtics.
He was able to play just one minute and 19 seconds before suffering his injury. Turner had to intentionally foul to leave the game. It was clear that that moment that something wasn't right. Myles went to the locker room to get his hand checked out and he was then inactive for the remainder of the game. Initially it was classified as a left thumb sprain, but on Thursday it was ruled a chip fracture in his left thumb after further evaluation from team doctors.
Ian Mahinmi, Jordan Hill, and Lavoy Allen will see an increase in their minutes. Frank Vogel stated that Jordan Hill will temporarily be the team's backup center. Hill will likely come off the bench regardless of the type of rotation, but he will see minutes at both backup center and power forward.
Indiana has the possibility of using Lavoy Allen at backup center, but Jordan Hill is better suited for that. All of this will depend on foul trouble, performance, future injuries, type of rotation (small or big), and much more, but this is just the current status of the situation.
During their small-ball rotations the Pacers will start Paul George at power forward, start Ian Mahinmi at center, have Jordan Hill at backup center, and have Lavoy Allen at backup power forward. Hill could see some minutes at backup power forward too, but he will probably see a bulk of his minutes at center.
Mahinmi is the team's only rim protector and true center, so that is why it complicates things when Turner can't play. This was evident during the team's season opener against the Toronto Raptors.
Indiana could see some problems in their big rotation if one of their big men gets into foul trouble. Indiana sent Shayne Whittington and Rakeem Christmas to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, so they currently only have Ian Mahinmi, Lavoy Allen, and Jordan Hill as their traditional big men on their active roster.
Since the Pacers want to use Hill as the backup center, Allen would likely start at power forward. This means that Allen would see a significant increase in minutes, Mahinmi's minutes would increase slightly, and Hill's minutes would increase significantly since he would have to play at both backup power forward and center. Indiana could even go with some small lineups at certain points of the game with George at power forward, but regardless, staying out of foul trouble will be important.
Myles Turner was playing at a high level up until his injury. In 15.9 minutes per game, Turner was averaging the following statistics; 6.1 PTS, 2.9 REB, 0.1 AST, 0.4 STL, and 0.9 BLK. Turner was shooting well as well, here were his various shooting percentages; 55.3% FG%, 55.3% 2P%, and 70.0% FT%. Myles was able to reach 10-points twice so far, which is his career high.
Interestingly enough, Turner hasn't attempted a 3-pointer yet during the regular season. It is strange considering the fact that Turner was regarded as possibly the team's best perimeter shooter during the off-season. It has been clear to everybody that Turner has been giving versatile contribution to the Pacers so far this season, which is impressive considering the fact that he has been on a playing-time restriction for most of the season.