The Houston Rockets are set to kick off their 2018-19 preseason campaign on Tuesday, but it sounds like they’re going to be without the services of forward P.J. Tucker, who is dealing with a bout of back soreness.
Mark Berman of FOX 26 News in Houston reported Tucker’s status, noting that he would be held out of Monday’s practice and the preseason opener against the Memphis Grizzles the following day.
Brandon Knight out left knee injury. PJ Tucker out sore back. Nene out right calf soreness
— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) October 1, 2018
Earlier this week, ESPN’s Tim McMahon reported that the Rockets view Tucker as an “indispensable piece” of their starting lineup. Since he’s not up to par, Houston is giving him plenty of time to recover. After all, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Tucker, now 33 years of age, played in all 82 regular-season games during Houston’s 2017-18 campaign, racking up averages of 6.1 points on 39.0 percent shooting from the field (37.1 percent from beyond the arc), 5.6 rebounds, and a steal in 27.8 minutes per outing.
As Berman notes in his report, the Rockets will be without several other players for Tuesday’s game, including Brandon Knight (left knee infection) and Nenê (sore right calf).
Though the Rockets have quite a few players listed as “out” for Tuesday’s game, there is some good news to share. According to a report from Jonathon Feigen of The Houston Chronicle, Zhou Qi (sprained ankle) and Isaiah Hartenstein (ankle) have been upgraded to questionable.
P.J. Tucker (sore back) is out.Zhou Qi sprained ankle) and Isaiah Hartenstein upgraded to questionable. Nene out with a tight calf.
— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) October 1, 2018
Tuesday night’s game preseason game will be played inside Legacy Arena at The Birmingham–Jefferson Convention Complex in Alabama. Tip-off is set for 8:00 p.m. ET.