Suns center Alex Len’s professional career has more days of regular-season tenure than game-time minutes logged.
It is not what he envisioned when he underwent early May surgery to repair a partial stress fracture in his left ankle, and certainly not what the Suns expected when they picked Len fifth overall in June with the idea he would be ready for the season — even with a precautionary surgery on the other ankle.
Instead, Len played 21 minutes in the first two games of the season before being shut down because of ongoing soreness in his left ankle. He returned for a Nov. 19-20 back-to-back with Sacramento, logging only five minutes in each game. After the first half of the first one, Len pulled himself out because the discomfort had returned.
“I was just really sore,” Len said. “It hurt me to walk.
“We decided to shut it down to get it completely better. It’s just frustrating to be able to play a couple games and then it gets worse. We’ll let it heal completely and come back 100 percent.”
Len has missed the past seven games and Suns coach Jeff Hornacek said the staff is using vitamin treatments to address the matter. In the meantime, Len sees an upside in that he can do more of the weight training he needs to get stronger. He had 29 lifting sessions in November.
“I’m trying to keep my focus on things I have control of,” Len said. “You just want to play. I’m passionate about basketball. I want to be out there competing with the best players.”