On Christmas Day against the Thunder, Rockets center Clint Capela suffered an orbital bone fracture — he broke the bone around his right eye — and he just played through it. Like he was doing with the heel pain that had kept him out a handful of games before Christmas. Capela had three points and three rebounds in his fourth quarter run and remains at the heart of what makes the Rockets work so well.
Now, the Rockets (losers of three in a row) will have to go at least a couple more games without him because of the orbital bone, the team announced Wednesday.
Capela can play with a mask on once the swelling goes down, coach Mike D’Antoni said. With his heel still bothering him, Houston decided to sit Capela for a couple of games just to get healthy again.
The Rockets also are without Chris Paul, who is expected back soon but has no specific timeline.
Houston will miss Capela against good offensive teams like Washington — he anchors their defense, and his rolling to the rim on offense is a weapon that helps space the floor and create room for James Harden to work.