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Trail Blazers’ Ish Wainright out 4-6 weeks with MCL sprain


Portland Trail Blazers forward Ish Wainright will miss four to six weeks due to an MCL sprain, the team announced Saturday. An MRI revealed the injury in his left knee.

Wainright, 29, was claimed off waivers last month. The 6-foot-6 wing has appeared in two games for the Trail Blazers this season. He has also played with the Rip City Remix, Portland’s G League affiliate.

According to multiple NBA betting sites, the Portland Trail Blazers hold 29th-ranked odds to win the championship this season. Sportsbooks are showing better odds for the New Orleans Pelicans and Oklahoma City Thunder.

Wainright went undrafted in 2017 out of Baylor University. However, the Missouri native spent his next four years playing overseas with the Nürnberg Falcons (2018-19), Rasta Vechta (2019-20), and SIG Strasbourg (2020-21).

On Aug. 7, 2021, Wainright signed a two-year, non-guaranteed deal with the Toronto Raptors, but he was waived by Toronto on Oct. 17. Five days later, he signed a two-way contract with the Phoenix Suns.

Portland Trail Blazers forward Ish Wainright out with MCL sprain, has made only two appearances in 2023-24

In 45 games off the bench of his rookie 2021-22 season, Wainright averaged 2.4 points, 1.2 rebounds, and 8.0 minutes per game with Phoenix. Plus, he shot 39.4% from the floor, 32.2% beyond the arc, and 58.3% at the foul line.

In the Suns’ 113-109 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Apr. 4, 2022, the forward recorded a career-high 20 points, eight rebounds, four assists, and three steals in 25 minutes as a reserve.

Last season, Wainright made two starts in 60 appearances with Phoenix. The Baylor product averaged career highs of 4.2 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 15.3 minutes per game.

Furthermore, he shot 37% from the field and career bests of 32.9% from 3-point range and 83.9% at the line during his sophomore season.

Ahead of the 2023-24 season, the Suns decided to waive Wainright. Although the Western Conference contender had planned to sign him to a new contract, a deal was never offered.

Portland is 3-9 and 12th in the West through 12 games this season, whereas Phoenix is 6-6 overall and eighth in the conference standings. The Suns host the Trail Blazers next Tuesday in an NBA In-Season Tournament group matchup.

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