From the Blazers...
Travis Outlaw has a stress fracture of the 5th metatarsal bone in his left foot. He'll return to Portland to be further evaluated. He is out indefinitely.
The injury was suffered during the first half of tonight's game against the Charlotte Bobcats as Outlaw attempted to defend Gerald Wallace.
Martell Webster fractured the same bone last season.
Through 10 games, Outlaw was third on the team in scoring with 10.9 points per game. He also averaged 3.8 rebounds and 0.8 assists in 23 minutes a game.
Outlaw's absence will likely be filled by a number of players. Look for veteran Juwan Howard to earn more playing time at the backup power forward spot with rookie Dante Cunningham possibly earning some minutes as well.
Wings Rudy Fernandez and Martell Webster will also likely see their playing time increase. Fernandez, who has seen his minutes cut from last year (from 25 mpg down to 20 mpg), might wind up as the biggest beneficiary with Nate McMillan looking for off-the-bench offense that Outlaw provided.
This is a particularly tough blow for Outlaw given that he is currently in a contract year.
Update: Jason Quick speculates...
Webster suffered his initial fracture in October and didn't return until December. In Webster's first game back he broke the same bone in the same place and missed the rest of the season.
Figuring Outlaw has the same timeline of Webster's initial injury - six-to-eight weeks - he figures to return around mid-January, a span of around 29 games.
Update (10:30PM): A longer update from Jason Quick here...
"He had been complaining about his foot for a couple of games now," Roy said of his best friend. "So I was like, 'Trav, you sure you don't have a stress fracture?'"
The team's top reserve and primary backup power forward is expected to be out for six to eight weeks, which translates to mid-January. If he returns in exactly eight weeks, he will miss 29 games.
-- Ben Golliver | email@example.com | Twitter