ESPN’s Royce Young reported Tuesday that Oklahoma City Thunder guard Cameron Payne will not undergo surgery on his broken right foot. Regardless, Payne will still be sidelined for 6-to-8 weeks. Thunder general manager Sam Presti issued a statement (via Young):
“Over the last several days, Cameron has had consultations with multiple specialists to determine the best course of action to treat his right foot injury. Based on these consultations and the options provided,
Cameron has chosen to pursue a non-surgical route provided by the physicians that is intended to ideally allow the bone to heal on its own and avoid surgery. Cameron, his representatives, and the Thunder fully understand that if the bone is not healing appropriately, or if at any point there is a setback in his return to play, surgery may still be required. He will be re-evaluated in 6-8 weeks.”
Payne sustained the injury during a scrimmage at practice last Tuesday. He was forced to undergo surgery in July on the same bone, though the latest injury is reportedly unrelated to the previous issue.
Payne, a second-year guard out of Murray State, was expected to take a larger role this season as the primary backup to Russell Westbrook. In 57 games as a rookie, he averaged 5.0 points, 1.9 assists and 1.5 rebounds per game playing behind Westbrook and the departed D.J. Augustin.
Payne’s injury may clear the way for veteran Ronnie Price to snag a spot on the Thunder roster. The 33-year-old journeyman spent last season with the Phoenix Suns after making previous stops with the Sacramento Kings, Utah Jazz, Portland Trail Blazers, Orlando Magic and Los Angeles Lakers.