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Rockets' Alperen Sengun Injury May Cost Him Most Improved Player Award

Alperen Sengun's injury could cost him more than just time away from the Houston Rockets.

Houston Rockets center Alperen Sengun has been one of the top centers in the NBA this season, taking a massive step in his progress.

After averaging 14.8 points per game last season with the Rockets, Sengun increased his scoring average to 21.1 points, making him a candidate for the league's Most Improved Player of the Year award.

Alperen Sengun

Rockets' Alperen Sengun likely out for the rest of the season due to a knee and ankle injury.

However, Sengun suffered a bone bruise and ankle sprain in Sunday's win against the Sacramento Kings, which held him out from Tuesday's win against the San Antonio Spurs. There's a chance Sengun will need weeks to recover from his injuries, likely costing him the season.

Sengun may be the most improved player in the league, but if he were to sit for the remainder of the season, he would be ineligible for the award.

The league adopted a new rule this season that required players to play at least 20 minutes in 65 games to be eligible for awards. Sengun has played in just 63 games so far this season.

There's a chance Sengun could return for the final week of the season if his injuries heal quickly (and if the Rockets can creep closer towards playoff contention), but Houston would be wise not to rush him back and allow him to rest throughout the offseason — even if he isn't able to hoist the shiny trophy.

The Rockets, without Sengun, will play again tonight against the Washington Wizards at home. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. CT.