Less than one week into training camp, the Suns have lost two members of their expected playing rotation to injuries for extended periods.
Scott Williams, expected to be a frequent starter at center after the trade of Jake Tsakalidis last week, is expected to miss about six weeks after undergoing surgery on Saturday to repair a damaged ligament in his left (non-shooting) thumb.
The injury on Friday night came on the same day that Williams vowed to try to take it easy during practices so as to better preserve himself for the 82-game regular season.
"I just want to stay fresh for the games," he said at mid-day Friday.
But Williams injured his left hand diving for a loose ball Friday night.
"I'm very disappointed, but that's life in the NBA," said Suns coach Frank Johnson. "We can't feel sorry for ourselves."
The injuries leave the Suns thin at center, the Suns' traditionally weakest spot. Outside of regular Jake Voskuhl, they have second-year players Cezary Trybanski and Robert Archibald and training camp invitee Nick Sheppard.
Also, they figure to go with a three-forward lineup even more frequently than in the past.
The injury happened on the same day the Suns learned that promising rookie Zarko Cabarkapa would miss an estimated three to four weeks after undergoing surgery to repair a hernia. The Suns hope Cabarkapa can be available to play in the season opener on Oct. 28 at San Antonio or shortly thereafter.
If Williams is out six weeks, he would miss the season's first nine games.
BONUS SHOTS: Doors open at 4 p.m. today for the public scrimmage set to start at 5:30 p.m. at America West Arena. Entertainment and autograph sessions will take place before the scrimmage. . .A TV special on the Suns is set to air at 6 p.m. tonight on UPN-45.