Brooklyn Nets guard Caris LeVert has said an injury he suffered during a game on Monday “could’ve been a lot worse” as he thanked well-wishers for their messages of support.
The 24-year-old went down after leaping to defend at the rim during a match against the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Target Centre.
He was tended to by medics before being stretchered off court, leaving fans and fellow players visibly shocked.
The Nets released a statement on Tuesday revealing that the star had been diagnosed with a dislocated right foot and would not need surgery.
He was “expected to return to full strength and resume all basketball activities without any limitations this season”, the statement added.
Writing on Twitter on Tuesday night, LeVert said: “I just want to thank God above all things b/c despite how bad the injury looked, it could’ve been a lot worse. Thanks to all for the prayers, messages, love, support for both my family & me. We appreciate you all! Can’t wait to get back out there with my brothers!!!”
Supporters and players from across the league had rushed to send their well-wishes to LeVert following the incident, as fears grew over the seriousness of the injury.
LeBron James tweeted: “Young Fella prayers to you! Speedy recovery and even stronger impact coming soon for sure!”, followed by a praying hands emoji, while Cleveland Cavaliers star Kevin Love wrote: “Prayers for Caris LeVert. Hate to see this. Having a hell of a season. Keep strong”.
The fall initially drew comparisons with the gruesome ankle injury suffered by Gordon Hayward less than six minutes into the Boston Celtics’ first game of the regular season last year.
Hayward, who missed the remainder of the season, offered his own warm words to LeVert on Twitter, saying: “Best wishes and prayers to @CarisLeVert on a speedy recovery! The journey back is hard, but you’ll be stronger in the end. Please reach out if you need anything!”
LeVert was assessed by Nets’ team orthopedist Martin O’Malley, who said: “Fortunately, tests performed this morning revealed that there are no fractures and only moderate ligament damage.
“While the optics of this injury may have appeared to be more severe, surgery will not be required.”
LeVert has averaged a career-high 18.4 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.2 steals in 14 games this season. He is the only player in the league this season to convert multiple game-winning baskets with less than 10 seconds remaining in regulation or overtime.