<
>

Thunder guard Cameron Payne has acute fracture in right foot

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Cameron Payne has an acute fracture in his right foot, the team announced Thursday. There is no set timetable as of now for his return.

Payne suffered the injury Tuesday during an open scrimmage. The team later labeled it as an ankle tweak. Payne experienced soreness the next morning. Following tests, it was discovered he had a fracture.

Payne had surgery in late July on his right foot to repair a Jones fracture (on the same bone) and was cleared to return to play for training camp. The team said the two injuries are unrelated. His fracture in the summer was a stress fracture, while this one is an impact fracture. It's unknown as of now if Payne will undergo another surgery. He'll be re-evaluated in the next week, and a determination will be made.

Payne dealt with soreness in his foot beginning in March of last season and wore a walking boot for the remainder of the season before and after practices and games. He participated in summer league, but after the soreness did not improve, he and the team decided to surgically repair the Jones fracture. The team called it a "proactive" surgery at the time.

With the Thunder transitioning into a new era without Kevin Durant, who signed with the Golden State Warriors during the offseason, Payne was expected to take on a much larger role this season backing up All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook, as well as playing alongside him. Possibly anticipating lingering issues with his foot, though, the team signed veteran point guard Ronnie Price over the summer. Price will now slot into that role.

This isn't the first time the Thunder have had issues with Jones fracture procedures. Durant underwent three different surgeries on his right foot during the 2014-15 season, which caused him to miss 55 games. Durant's original surgery had a screw put in that didn't fit his foot properly, with the second surgery attempting to correct that. He wasn't healing as quickly as anticipated, so he and the team decided to pull the plug and opt for a full bone graft procedure. The team said Payne's situation is much different than Durant's.

Payne, 21, averaged 5.0 points and 1.9 assets in 57 games (one start) last season.