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Blazers center Hassan Whiteside leaves game vs. Jazz due ankle sprain

Blazers, Hassan Whiteside

Portland Trail Blazers center Hassan Whiteside exited the team’s preseason matchup with the Utah Jazz early as a result of a left ankle sprain.

It’s a concerning development for the Blazers, as Whiteside already dealt with an ankle sprain on the same leg during training camp. As a result, he missed 10 days and had to work to build his conditioning back up to game shape.

“Just get conditioning,” Whiteside said, via Jamie Goldberg of The Oregonian. “I missed like 10 days because I had an ankle sprain, so just get back into that game shape and get back to feeling like my normal self… I’m just building my wind back and building up my spring, that spring that gives me the dunks and gives me the blocks. Just trying to get that back.”

The current center rotation for the Trail Blazers has become concerning as a result of recent injuries. They will already be without starting center Jusuf Nurkic to start the season, as he recovers from a serious leg fracture. On top of that, the team is unsure if backup big man Pau Gasol will be ready for their regular-season opener due to a foot injury.

Portland’s emergency options with the five spot would likely include using Zach Collins and Skal Labissiere at that position. Of course, it’s too early to know if that will be necessary, but the next injury report will shed light on the potential possibility of that occurring.