APRIL 28: Middleton is expected to miss the Bucks’ entire second-round series vs. Boston, Shams Charania of The Athletic confirms (via Twitter). According to Charania, Middleton’s recovery timeline would also jeopardize his availability for at least the start of the Eastern Conference Finals, if Milwaukee makes it that far.
Middleton, who suffered an MCL sprain in his left knee during Game 2 of Milwaukee’s playoff series with the Bulls, is scheduled to be reevaluated next week, roughly 14 days after the injury. However, sources tell Wojnarowski that the exam is likely to just be a “benchmark,” and there’s no expectation that Middleton will return to action right away.
“There’s not a sense that he’s going to get reevaluated at two weeks and then all of a sudden be back at practice and be ready to play,” Wojnarowski said. “That’s a benchmark in this process. But the Bucks certainly, they’re on the cusp of getting by the Bulls here. They may have to get through another series, a conference semifinal, before they may have the opportunity to get Khris Middleton back in this season.”
Middleton played a huge role in helping the Bucks capture the NBA title last season, averaging 23.6 points, 7.6 rebounds and 5.1 assists during the playoffs. He followed that up by being selected to the All-Star game this year for the third time in his career.
Middleton recently told Jim Owczarski of The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that he’s optimistic about returning soon, but he has confidence in his teammates if the recovery process takes longer.
“We did it last year as a group,” Middleton said. “When Giannis (Antetokounmpo) went down (in the Eastern Conference Finals) everybody stepped up and played a major part, so I expect nothing less. I feel like guys are ready to step up and play. They know right now it’s win or go home time.”