Portland Trail Blazers guard Gary Payton II won’t play against the Toronto Raptors, after all. After beginning the day as “probable” to play, the defensive-minded reserve “experienced discomfort” during his pregame workout, Blazers head coach Chauncey Billups told reporters.
Trail Blazers reporter Casey Holdahl relayed the news through Twitter.
Billups says GP2 will not play tonight, said he experienced discomfort during his pregame workout https://t.co/pK6JRC9QUE— Casey Holdahl (@CHold) January 8, 2023
It’s unclear from Holdahl’s tweet whether Billups was referring to discomfort in Payton II’s right ankle or abdomen. Since he was last listed on the Blazers injury report as “Doubtful” earlier today due to his right ankle, this reporter’s educated guess is Billups was referring to the ankle.
Payton II suffered a right ankle sprain last Monday in his season debut against the Detroit Pistons. Today will be his third consecutive game missed because of the injury. Before his debut against Detroit, he had missed the previous 35 games due to his recovery from an offseason abdominal surgery.
Against Detroit, Payton II served as a spark off the bench, tallying seven points, four assists, two rebounds and several hustle plays in only 13 minutes.