Reports: Rockets' Capela to miss 4-6 weeks with right thumb injury

Houston Rockets center Clint Capela is expected to miss four to six weeks with a ligament damage in his right thumb, according to reports from Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN and Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle.

Capela injured his thumb during the third quarter of the Rockets’ 116-109 loss to the Orlando Magic on Sunday.

“As I was going up for the lob, I got hit in the hand,” Capela said after the game. “We’re going to see what is it when we go back home. It’s just sore right now. We can’t really see anything [on the X-ray] yet. We’ll see what happens.”

The Rockets planned to re-evaluate Capela today. The team has not yet announced the severity of the injury.

Here’s more from Wojnarowski on the Rockets’ next steps without Capela:

The absence of Capela, who is averaging a career-high 34.2 minutes per game, creates a major depth problem at center. Nene likely replaces Capela in the Houston starting lineup, but the Rockets prefer to limit the 36-year-old to 15 minutes per game and do not play Nene on both ends of back-to-backs.

Rarely used reserves Isaiah Hartenstein and Marquese Chriss are the only other centers on the roster, although forward PJ Tucker plays some center in small lineups.

The 24-year-old center is a key piece to the Rockets’ success with averages of 17.6 points, 12.6 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks this season. The Rockets (24-18) currently have the sixth-best record in the Western Conference.