Injuries are stupid.
The Bucks will be without starting center Larry Sanders until after the All-Star Break due to an orbital fracture he suffered Saturday against the Rockets. The play happened with under eight minutes left in the first quarter, when Sanders went to battle for a rebound against James Harden. After neither could grab the initial rebound, Harden's elbow inadvertently cracked Sanders in the face, leaving him writhing in pain on the baseline for a considerable amount of time before heading to the locker room.
Here is the video of said play:
Ow ow ow ow ow ow ow ow ow.
Injuries are no fun regardless of when they happen, but this particular injury is a huge bummer. Not only was Sanders' play slowly improving (13.4 points, 10.4 rebounds, 2.0 blocks, in his previous five games before Saturday, with a 25p/15r effort on Wednesday in Denver), but Bucks fans were supposed to finally get an extended look at the Sanders and John Henson front court starting together. Instead, they got just over four minutes of tick as a tandem and a WHOLE LOT OF SAD FEELINGS.
Sanders trip to the inactive list won't be without company, as O.J. Mayo (illness/conditioning), Caron Butler (ankle), and Ersan Ilyasova (back) join the big man on the injury report. The Bucks did get Luke Ridnour (back) and Ekpe Udoh (ankle) back for tonight's game against the Celtics though, so they should have a little bit of depth coming off the bench. Should. I don't want to jinx anything.
In his absence, Zaza Pachulia will get a start (on his birthday!), and will likely hold down the spot until Sanders returns or Ilyasova returns, giving Larry Drew the option of moving Henson over to center for a few games. Sanders will see a specialist Tuesday and we'll get a better idea of just how long he may be out then.