LaMarcus Aldridge will miss the Trail Blazers’ Thursday night matchup with the Denver Nuggets, coach Terry Stotts confirmed on Wednesday.
Aldridge has not practiced since experiencing a sprain in his left ankle on Sunday against the New Orleans Hornets. Late in the game, Aldridge landed on the foot of Hornets’ Ryan Anderson and immediately crumpled to the ground in pain. Aldridge left the game and did not return.
Stotts did not veer away from his past tactics, as he would not publicly reveal who would replace Aldridge, who leads the team in points (21) and minutes played (38.1). However if recent history offers clues, rookie Meyers Leonard may get his third career start. It was Leonard who replaced Aldridge on Nov. 25 in Brooklyn, when Aldridge missed the game due to tightness in his back.
Leonard averages 4.7 points and 3.6 rebounds per game.
Beyond Leonard, the Blazers can also plug in Jared Jeffries, who isn’t a threat to score but plays an active brand of defense and is known to draw offensive fouls.