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Rising Rockets star Alperen Sengun reportedly escapes major injury after frightening fall left him in wheelchair

Houston Rockets center Alperen Sengun reportedly has multiple injuries but escaped major damage after a frightening fall in Sunday's 112-104 win over the Sacramento Kings left him in a wheelchair.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarwoski reported Monday that Sengun sustained a severely sprained right ankle and a bone bruise in his right knee while avoiding major injury. A timetable for his return is not clear. The news arrives as a relative relief in Houston after Sunday's scene prompted fears of broken bones or torn ligaments.

Alperen Sengun reportedly has a severely sprained ankle and bone bruise on his right knee. (AP Photo/Randall Benton)
Alperen Sengun reportedly has a severely sprained ankle and bone bruise on his right knee. (AP Photo/Randall Benton) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Sengun suffered the injury in the final minute of the game while contesting a transition layup by Domantas Sabonis.

Sengun landed awkwardly on his right leg, then his head snapped back toward the basket's stanchion as he fell to the court. He clutched his right knee in pain on the floor.

He eventually needed help from his teammates into a wheelchair. He placed his head in his hands as he was wheeled across the court toward the Houston locker room.

The nature of the injury wasn't initially clear Sunday night.

Sengun, 21, has emerged as one of the NBA's most promising young centers in his third NBA season and is key to Houston's rebuild and youth movement. In 62 games before Sunday, Sengun averaged 21.2 points, 9.4 rebounds, five assists, 1.2 steals and 0.7 blocks while shooting 53.7% from the floor and 29.7% from 3-point distance. He scored a career-high 45 points in a matchup against Victor Wembanyama last Wednesday as the Rockets beat the San Antonio Spurs, 114-101.

With 18 games remaining, the Rockets are a long-shot to qualify for the Western Conference play-in at 29-35, 5.5 games behind the 10th-place Golden State Warriors. It's not clear when or if Sengun will be able to return for the stretch run. But the news that he's avoided long-term injury and lengthy rehab is good for both his and the Rockets' continued development.