26 Feb

Bucks star to miss at least two more games with ankle sprain

Milwaukee Bucks star Khris Middleton will miss at least the next two games with an ankle sprain, head coach Doc Rivers told reporters on Thursday. The Bucks are set to return to action after the All-Star break against the Western Conference-leading Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday, before traveling to take on the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday.

The Bucks have never given an official timeline for Middleton, who has not played since the team’s loss to the Phoenix Suns on Feb. 6. He left the arena that night on crutches and in a walking boot, according to Eric Nehm.

About six minutes into the matchup with the Suns, Middleton had the ball on the wing and was guarded by Kevin Durant. He worked himself into a rhythm, pulled up for a 3-pointer, and landed on Durant’s foot. His left ankle rolled violently, and he collapsed to the floor in obvious pain.

After briefly reviewing the monitor, the officials upgraded the foul to a Flagrant 1 on Durant. Middleton took the flagrant free throws himself — he went 1-of-2 — and briefly remained in the game. However, he was not moving well and checked out at the next dead ball. He immediately went back to the locker room with the Bucks’ medical staff and was ruled out for the rest of the game.

It’s still unclear when Middleton will return to action, and it’s not surprising the Bucks are taking the cautious route given his health problems in recent years.

Dating back to the 2022 playoffs, when he sprained the MCL in his left knee in the first round, Middleton has been a regular on the injured list. He’s dealt with a myriad of upper and lower body problems and has undergone two surgeries — one on his wrist and another on his knee last summer. So far this season he has missed 13 games and played in both ends of a back-to-back just once.

Having Middleton healthy for the postseason will be paramount for a Bucks team that is still hopeful of competing for a title despite a rocky 3-7 start under Rivers.

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