June 4, 2012; San Antonio, TX, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder center Kendrick Perkins (5) reacts against the San Antonio Spurs during the second half in game five of the Western Conference finals of the 2012 NBA playoffs at the AT

Kendrick Perkins should start for OKC Thunder vs. Atlanta Hawks tonight


Soobum-Im-US PRESSWIRE

Kendrick Perkins went down with what was a left ankle sprain with 4:31 left in the Oklahoma City Thunder’s 106-92 win over the Portland Trail Blazers Friday night.

The injury didn’t appear to be too serious but Perkins went back to the locker room to have it checked out.

Perkins is officially listed as day-to-day now but is expected to start in OKC’s next game, tonight at 7 p.m. EST vs. the Atlanta Hawks.

“It wasn’t as bad as I initially thought,” head coach Scott Brooks said Saturday. “He’s feeling much better today than I thought he would.”

Perkins was banged up for training camp and the preseason as well missing a few games then. There really is no rush to bring him back this early in the season, which means that if he plays then the injury can’t be too serious.

Perkins has only scored two points on 1-of-4 shooting this season. He also has nine rebounds, two assists and two blocks and is averaging 24.5 minutes per game.

Perkins does have a new backup this season in Hasheem Thabeet. Thabeet still looks raw but has produced a little bit so far this season. He’s averaging 2.5 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in 15.0 minutes per game this season.

Brooks has gone with traditional lineups so far this season over small lineups. We’ve seen 15 minutes per game out of Thabeet while rookie Perry Jones III has only played six minutes total. Brooks is bringing him along slowly and Jones should be able to start getting more minutes as the season goes on.

Tags: Kendrick Perkins Oklahoma City Thunder