The news about Reggie Jackson isn’t great, but given the way his ankle bent, it didn’t look to be a minor injury at all.
After X-rays showed no break in his right ankle, an MRI revealed a Grade-3 sprain, which will keep Jackson out for 6-8 weeks, when doctors will re-evaluate the severity of the injury, the team announced Wednesday.
Jackson suffered the injury while driving to the basket during the third quarter of Tuesday night’s win over the Indiana Pacers at Little Caesars Arena. He landed awkwardly on Pacers center Myles Turner’s heel and stayed on the court for a couple minutes, grabbing his ankle and writhing in pain after letting out two loud screams.
After being helped to his feet, Jackson couldn’t put any weight on the ankle and was taken to the locker room.
“It’s tough for him because if you look at how he played yesterday, he was playing really well: he distributed the ball and took his shot opportunities when they were available,” associate coach Bob Beyer said Wednesday. “That’s a big loss for us; we have to go next man up and move on.”
Jackson’s injury adds to the Pistons’ corps of walking wounded, along with starting backcourt mate Avery Bradley (groin strain) and forward Jon Leuer (ankle). It’s unclear how they will distribute Jackson’s playing time, but Ish Smith will move into the starting role, with Langston Galloway likely playing more as the backup.
The only other point guard the Pistons have on the roster is Dwight Buycks, a two-way player from the Grand Rapids Drive in the development league. Buycks made his NBA debut in the final minutes of Tuesday’s game.
Because of the long timeline for Jackson’s injury, the Pistons also could pursue another veteran option in the trade market or consider a free agent such as former Pistons Brandon Jennings or Beno Udrih, who are playing overseas. The difficulty, though, could be in getting out of their contracts with their foreign teams.
Jackson, 27, was having a good bounce-back season, averaging 14.6 points and 5.5 assists and played in all 33 games. He missed 30 games last season: the first 21 because of a platelet-rich plasma injection in his left knee and the last nine of the season to rest.
The Pistons went 11-10 during the opening stretch last season with Smith as the starting point guard.