Nobody likes when players get hurt, especially in a hyper-competitive league like the NBA. Even so, injuries are bound to happen. All top players get hurt at some point, or even during multiple points, in their career. That includes Devin Booker.
While the guard is not someone who’s constantly missing games or is particularly injury prone, he’s still had his share of unfortunate issues. I’ll break them all down below.
Taking Their Time
While players used to push through ailments or pain in the past, those days are long gone. Where athletes would once ignore a cramping thigh or a strained tendon, they now sit out in order to get rest and make sure they heal up rather than aggravate it further.
That’s important to note when looking at any one player’s injury history. Though every athlete experiences problems, certain players may sit out a lot without being deeply injured simply due to the fact that they need to be careful with their workload during a season.
That’s definitely true of Booker. He’s had a good amount of more serious injuries in his career, but he’s not a player who’s on the bench a lot because he can’t play. Rather, it’s that the Suns want to be careful and not risk their franchise’s future on a regular-season game.
The First Pains
Booker came into the NBA with a bang. He had a great first two seasons, earning all-rookie honors (the first Sun since 2003) and putting up major numbers during his sophomore campaign. A big part of that was that he avoided injury and was able to play all the time.
However, in his third year ailments began to take their toll. He first missed time in December, 2017 due to a strained left abductor muscle in his groin. The nagging pain, which did not go away as quickly as he hoped, took him out for three weeks.
Devin Booker carried off floor with no ability to put weight on anything after non-contact injury pic.twitter.com/bopfNnhuuX— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) December 6, 2017
Soon after that, Booker went on to miss four games in February 2018 with a left hip contusion. He rebounded well, but then went on to miss the final 12 games of the season after spraining his right hand.
After taking time off at the end of the 2017-2018 season, Booker hoped he’d get back to full health. While he once again started strong, the superstar took a hit in October when a left hamstring injury sidelined him out for three games.
He recovered quickly, but that same hamstring came up again in December of that year. The second one would cause him to miss six games. In both cases, the Suns would have a losing record without Booker in their lineup.
A Rough Two Years
Booker doesn’t sit a lot, but he’s had more and more issues as his career’s gone on. While he stayed healthy in 2020, 2019 was particularly rough. He suffered two right hamstring injuries in February of that year, followed by an ankle injury in April, and a forearm contusion in December.
Unfortunately, 2021 came with similar issues. That included another left hamstring strain in January, a knee injury in March, and a pulled left hamstring in December. None of those took him out for long (or at all) but the Suns are now much more careful with his playing time.
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Unlike many other top superstars, Booker is not someone who’s had to deal with significant or long-term injuries. He’s had his share of issues, and they’ve kept him out of games, but he’s never had to undergo season-ending surgery or take months off at a time.
Even so, he’s not immortal either. The Suns need him healthy if they want to continue their recent success, and they need to be careful for that to happen. They might lose some regular season contests as a result of him sitting out, but that’s more than worth the trade off.