Sunday’s NBA: Warriors suffer another blow; Marquese Chriss breaks leg

Wes Goldberg
Mercury News

Golden State Warriors center Marquese Chriss suffered a broken right leg during Saturday’s practice in Chicago and will miss a significant part of the season, a league source told the Bay Area News Group.

A more complete timeline for his return will be determined after Chriss, 23, undergoes surgery in the coming days.

Golden State Warriors forward Marquese Chriss

In addition to fracturing his right fibula, Chriss also suffered a high ankle sprain, said the source, who asked not to be identified because he is not authorized to discuss medical information.

Although the Warriors medical staff has yet to rule Chriss out for the season, the injury is a blow to the 6-foot-9 player who had carved out an NBA home in Golden State.

After practice Saturday, the Warriors listed Chriss as out with a lower right leg injury for Sunday’s game against the Bulls. “God will find a way to test u!” Chriss said in an Instagram post on Saturday night.

Chriss, the No. 8 pick in the 2016 draft, had played for three teams in his first three years in the NBA before signing with the Warriors in training camp last season. Chriss emerged as the Warriors’ starting center by the end of the season, averaging 9.3 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 59 games (21 starts).

This season, he was settling into a role as a high-energy backup behind No. 2 overall pick James Wiseman. The Warriors counted on him for reliable defense and good offensive positioning. Chriss expects to have a long rehabilitation before he becomes an unrestricted free agent after the season.

Without Chriss, Wiseman and center Kevon Looney will have more responsibility in the lineup. Second-year big man Alen Smailagic also might be used more as well. Once he returns from a foot injury, forward Draymond Green can play as a center in a small-ball lineup.

Leonard sidelined

Kawhi Leonard missed the Clippers’ game against the Mavericks. He needed eight stitches in his mouth after accidentally getting elbowed by 7-foot teammate Serge Ibaka while going for a rebound in Friday’s win at Denver. Leonard was bleeding heavily when he left the court in the fourth quarter.

Leonard was replaced in the lineup by former Piston Luke Kennard for the Clippers’ home opener at Staples Center. Coach Tyronn Lue didn’t directly answer when asked about Leonard’s prognosis. “Hopefully, he’s fine,” the first-year coach said.

Leonard had 21 points, five rebounds and seven assists on Friday.