The Bucks lost two key contributors to injuries over the course of their Game 2 loss to Chicago on Wednesday.
All-Star forward Khris Middleton left in the fourth quarter due to a left knee injury later diagnosed as a sprained MCL, according to Jim Owczarski of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, while big man Bobby Portis suffered a right eye abrasion in the first quarter and didn’t return, per an Associated Press report.
Middleton will undergo an MRI on his injured knee on Thursday to further assess the extent of the damage and to get a clearer sense of his potential timeline for a return.
A player’s recovery timetable from a sprained MCL can vary depending on the severity of the injury, but it’s generally measured in weeks rather than just days. Kevin Durant, Anthony Davis, and Kelly Olynyk were among the players who missed more than a month this season due to MCL sprains — the Bucks will be hoping that Middleton’s sprain isn’t as significant.
“Obviously Khris is one of the best players on the team,” MVP finalist Giannis Antetokounmpo said after the game, per Owczarski. “If he’s not able to be with us, it going to be a tremendous loss for us. But at the end of the day, we’ve got guys that hopefully can step up and we can still do our job and compete and enjoy the game, and hopefully it’s not something very serious and he can come back and join us very soon.”
As for Portis, he left the game in the first quarter after taking a hit to the face from Tristan Thompson. Bucks assistant Darvin Ham said during an in-game interview that 27-year-old was “having problems with the vision in his right eye” (video link via Bally Sports Wisconsin). However, head coach Mike Budenholzer said after the game that the expectation is Portis “should be fine with some time,” according to Steve Megargee of The Associated Press.
In other injury news out of Milwaukee, it sounds like backup point guard George Hill, who missed the first two games of the series due to an abdominal strain, won’t be back for Game 3 — Budenholzer told reporters prior to Wednesday’s game that the Bucks “don’t expect him in the short term,” writes Jamal Collier of ESPN.
“We’ll see how he progresses over the next I’d say handful of days or more,” Budenholzer said of Hill.
We’ll wait for further updates on Middleton and Portis to see just how shorthanded the Bucks will be when they resume their series vs. the Bulls on Friday in Chicago, tied at one game apiece.