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Ex-Wildcat Deandre Ayton set to return from 25-game suspension when Suns play Clippers in L.A.
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Ex-Wildcat Deandre Ayton set to return from 25-game suspension when Suns play Clippers in L.A.

Deandre Ayton's start to his second season in the NBA looked promising for the former Arizona Wildcat and top pick the draft. Ayton recorded his first double-double of the season with 18 points and 11 rebounds in a dominant win over Sacramento.

The day afterwards, the NBA called Ayton to inform him that he would be suspended 25 games this season after testing positive for a diuretic. Nearly two months later, Ayton is expected to return when the Suns play the Clippers at Staples Center in L.A. Tuesday night. 

Diuretics, also referred to as “water pills,” are on the NBA’s list of banned substances. Diuretics are used to cleanse sodium and water from the body, and — if used improperly — can mask performance-enhancing drugs. They’re commonly used to treat high blood pressure. 

In a sit-down interview with former Suns standout Tom Chambers on Fox Sports Arizona, Ayton said he was "really shocked and and embarrassed in the beginning, but most of all, I know I disappointed everybody that's in my circle." 

When Ayton discovered how long he would be out, he contemplated appealing the suspension through the National Basketball Player's Association.

"I spoke to the union and the team and we all agreed to just be around the team and get better — not being a distraction," Ayton said. 

Ayton patiently waited for his suspension to clear and will return to a Suns team that is 11-15 and ninth in the western conference standings. Phoenix will play the 20-8 Clippers tonight at 8:30 p.m. and will be televised on Fox Sports Arizona and NBA TV. 

Contact sports content producer Justin Spears at 573-4312 or jspears@tucson.com. On Twitter @justinesports

Sports producer

Justin writes stories and produces digital content about UA football and basketball and high school football. A Tucson native, Justin graduated from the UA in 2017 and is the host of the Wildcast Podcast and a radio host on ESPN Tucson.

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