Isaiah Canaan Returns to Basketball Against Blazers

by Cody Cunningham

Last January Isaiah Canaan suffered a fractured ankle during a game that left himself, his teammates and the fans in shock. Fast-forward to Friday night, Canaan was back on the court for the first time as the Suns tipped-off against the Portland Trail Blazers.

“It’s just a blessing,” Canaan said. “It’s all the hard work you put in and just to be able to step foot back out there and actually play, it’s a lot of emotions.”

The Suns staff informed Canaan that he would be suiting up and playing in his first NBA action in over eight months and just the thought had him anxious to get back out there.

“I could barely sleep last night just knowing that I would have the chance to play again,” Canaan said. “It just means a lot to me personally and I just give a lot of credit to this organization and to this training staff for doing an unbelievable job getting me, not only back on my feet, but also competing at a high level. I’m just very thankful.”

Players like Devin Booker who were there on the night of his tragic injury, have watched the point guard battle back to where he is today.

“It’s unbelievable man,” Booker said. “I’ve known Isaiah for a long time and when that injury happened it kind of hurt me also. He stayed in the gym and now he’s back. Incredible turnaround.”

Suns Head Coach Igor Kokoškov, who suffered through a career-ending accident early in his life, related to Canaan following the game as he knows just how quick the game of basketball can be taken away. 

“I’m happy for him,” Kokoškov said. “I’m glad he’s doing what he does best, playing the game of basketball. He’s a very important piece for us, an important voice, presence in the locker room.”

Kokoškov gave Canaan 32 minutes tonight as the guard came off the bench to score 11 points while knocking down three three-pointers. Although the Suns lost 115-93, Canaan was just glad to step back on the hardwood. 

“I’ve been itching to play,” Canaan said. “I’m thankful and glad I was able to suit up tonight and compete with my teammates.” 

Canaan and the Suns will have the next two days off before heading to Golden State on Monday to take on the Warriors.