Suns center Deandre Ayton ruled out of Monday's game at San Antonio with right ankle sprain

·1 min read
Indiana Pacers' Domantas Sabonis (11) is defended by Phoenix Suns' Deandre Ayton (22) during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Jan. 14, 2022, in Indianapolis.
Indiana Pacers' Domantas Sabonis (11) is defended by Phoenix Suns' Deandre Ayton (22) during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Jan. 14, 2022, in Indianapolis.

SAN ANTONIO – Suns starting center Deandre Ayton is ruled out for Monday's game at San Antonio (16-27) after spraining his right ankle in the first quarter of Sunday's road win over Detroit.

"I actually saw it out the corner of my eye," Suns coach Monty Williams said after the 135-108 victory at Little Caesars Arena. "I saw his gait change. I realized he twisted it. t looked like a quick twist."

Ayton scored six points on 3-of-3 shooting within the game's first eight minutes before leaving the game with the injury.

"I think DA stepped on my foot, actually, which I don't like, but it's just a road to recovery," Suns All-Star Devin Booker said. "We'll get him back."

Ayton is averaging 16.8 points and 10.6 rebounds in his fourth NBA season.

Detroit Pistons guard Cade Cunningham (2) drives to the basket as Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton, left, and forward Mikal Bridges (25) defend during the first half Sunday, Jan. 16, 2022 at Little Caesars Arena.
Detroit Pistons guard Cade Cunningham (2) drives to the basket as Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton, left, and forward Mikal Bridges (25) defend during the first half Sunday, Jan. 16, 2022 at Little Caesars Arena.

The Suns are 11-3 this season without Ayton as he's missed six games with a right leg injury, five in health and safety protocols, two with a non-COVID illness and one to recondition after returning from protocols.

JaVale McGee will likely get the start Monday night for Ayton. The Suns backup big went for 20 points on 9-of-10 shooting in 15 minutes Sunday against the Pistons (10-32).

Cam Johnson is on pace to return Monday as he's listed as probable. Johnson has missed Phoenix's last three games with a left ankle sprain he suffered in last week's home loss to Miami.

With the NBA's best record, the Suns (33-9) will conclude their five-game road trip Thursday against Dallas (24-19).

The Mavericks have lost their previous eight matchups against Phoenix.

Have opinion about current state of the Suns? Reach Suns Insider Duane Rankin at dmrankin@gannett.com or contact him at 480-787-1240. Follow him on Twitter at @DuaneRankin.

Support local journalism. Start your online subscription.

This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Deandre Ayton out Monday's Suns-Spurs game with right ankle sprain