Bucks’ Middleton suffers sprained left knee MCL in Game 2, MRI Thursday

0 Comments

The defending champion Milwaukee Bucks find themselves in more trouble in the first round than expected.

While losing Game 2 to the Bulls — remember Milwaukee intentionally lost the season’s final game so they would get Chicago in the first round — All-Star forward Khris Middleton suffered a sprained MCL, something coach Mike Budenholzer confirmed after the game. An MRI on Thursday will tell more.

The injury occurred in the fourth quarter when Middleton tried to drive baseline then spin back toward the middle, but his foot slipped and he went down awkwardly.

How long Middleton is out depends on the severity of the sprain, but expect him to miss at least a week and maybe two — and that’s if it’s a grade 1 sprain. If it’s more severe than that he could be out longer.

The loss of Middleton will hurt the Bucks. He is their best secondary shot creator, a good defender, a guy they lean on in the clutch — and could have really used at the end of Game 2 — and he averaged 20.1 points, 5.4 rebounds and 5.4 assists a game this season. The Bucks were +5.2 per 100 possessions better when he was on the court this season. The man has an Olympic gold medal and an NBA championship ring from last year, he knows how to perform in big moments.

Middleton is not the only injury Milwaukee faces. Reserve guard George Hill remains out and will not return for a while due to an abdominal strain, and backup center Bobby Portis, who had a right eye abrasion.

The Bucks and Bulls are tied 1-1 with the series headed back to Chicago Friday night.