Mike Conley is expected to miss the rest of the regular season and the playoffs because of his sore left Achilles tendon, reports Ronald Tillery of The Commercial Appeal. The same fate appears to be true for Brandan Wright and Jordan Adams, based on the answer coach Dave Joerger gave when asked the status of all three and P.J. Hairston, as Tillery relays. Joerger said only that he thinks Hairston will return to play.
Doctors determined that it would be in Conley’s best interest to sit out until next season after examining him last week, as Tillery details. The Grizzlies and Conley are exercising caution amid fear that playing with the injury would lead to a torn Achilles, Tillery writes. Conley, who hasn’t played since March 6th, is headed into free agency this summer, when he figures to be one of the most sought-after players available and the top point guard on the market.
Wright is in the first season of a three-year contract but has appeared in only 12 games for the Grizzlies because of injury. Conflicting reports early last month surrounded his timetable for recovery from a sprained MCL in his right knee, but according to Tillery, he was never expected to return in the regular season, with only the playoffs a possibility. Postseason play now also appears out of the question. Tillery hears he suffered a Grade II sprain, not a Grade I, as previously reported.
The Grizzlies have been reluctant to give insight on the health of Adams, as Tillery chronicles. The second-year shooting guard has been out since January because of right knee surgery, and the time of his expected return has never been clear.
Hairston hasn’t played since March 15th with what’s generally been listed as a left groin strain, though Tillery refers to it as a hamstring injury. In any case, he ran sprints as part of a workout Sunday, according to Tillery, so his health is a bright spot for the Grizzlies, who’ve used an all-time NBA record 28 players this season as injuries have decimated their lineup.
Memphis can’t receive a disabled player exception, and while the team is carrying two extra roster spots via hardship, it doesn’t seem likely the NBA will allow that to continue into the playoffs, as Chris Herrington of The Commercial Appeal wrote earlier today. The Grizzlies aren’t yet assured of a playoff berth, and though they’re in fifth place and would otherwise seem a safe bet for the postseason, they lead the ninth-place Rockets by only two games in the loss column. The regular season ends a week from Wednesday.