Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez will miss the rest of the season after he reportedly broke his foot during the Nets' overtime loss to the Philadelphia 76ers Friday night. It's not the first time the 7-footer has broken his foot in his career, and he's dealt with nagging ankle injuries all season.
Friday night was just Lopez's second game back after being sidelined by his second ankle injury this year, He played 44 minutes, much of which he played after he suffered the injury, according to ESPN New York. He broke the fifth metatarsal in his right foot, according to Newsday beat writer Rod Boone, the same foot he broke in 2011 which required multiple screws.
Big men who suffer through foot and ankle problems early in their careers don't often have long careers. Yao Ming had to retire before he turned 30 with similar issues, although Lopez isn't well over 300 pounds like Ming.
Lopez has been a dominant force when he's been able to play this year, averaging 20.7 points on 56.8 percent shooting and blocking 1.8 shots per game. According to the NBA.com player tracking database, he's been the best in the league at protecting the rim this year on defense. Opponents are shooting a lower percentage at the rim against him than Roy Hibbert and Anthony Davis, the other two in the top three in that category.
Lopez played most of last year, but missed eight games with those nagging ankle injuries again. What makes his trend of serious foot injuries more disappointing is that he played all 82 games his first three seasons in the league.