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Reports: Rockets' Clint Capela out with broken fibula

From staff reports

Just when the Rockets get going, the going gets tough.

The hottest team in the NBA suffered a setback when Clint Capela, their young center who brought an athletic inside presence this season, suffered a broken fibula that could cost him a few weeks.

Details about the severity and possible length of missed time remains sketchy for now. But Capela, who apparently suffered the injury Saturday against Minnesota, will definitely be on the shelf well into January, according to the Houston Chronicle and other reports.

It’s certainly not the best news for the Rockets, who have won 10 straight and sit at No. 3 in the West. Capela is their only inside threat. His rebounding, pick-and-roll and rim protection is valued for a high-scoring team that relies on three-point shooting.

Capela has seen his role and minutes increase this season, his third, after the Rockets refused to re-sign free agent Dwight Howard. Only 22, the Swiss native’s development has been a surprising plus for the Rockets, and their new coach, Mike D’Antoni, values Capela’s energy and effort.

He’s averaging 11.8 points despite having few plays run for him, along with eight rebounds and 1.6 blocks. Capela plays well off of James Harden and his soft hands have helped him in put-back situations and catching lob passes.

It’s a strange situation for the Rockets, given that just last week they jettisoned center Donatas Montiejunas, who could’ve helped in Capela’s absence. Instead, they’ll turn to 34-year-old Nene and give the veteran extended minutes in the post.

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