We knew Wednesday night’s loss against the Chicago Bulls left a bad taste in Bucks fans mouths, and Thursday’s news means that the bitter flavor will linger for a while longer.
Milwaukee Bucks All-Star Khris Middleton has an MCL sprain in his left knee and will be re-evaluated in two weeks, sources tell ESPN. Bucks will have to play without Middleton for the rest of this first-round series against Chicago.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) April 21, 2022
We had a hunch that Khris Middleton would be unavailable shortly after the Game 2 loss, and it appears that the Milwaukee Bucks will have to navigate a lengthy path forward without their All Star wing. When it rains, it pours. It was previously reported that the injury would last for 3-4 weeks, but Woj/Shams had slightly different reports in their posts today.
In any case, it’s bad news. The Bucks are facing yet another harsh postseason reality, similar to when Giannis Antetokounmpo hyperextended his knee in the Eastern Conference Finals last year. We won’t see Khris again during the first round series against the Bulls. Should the Bucks win the series, we won’t see Khris for the first few games of the second round either. The Bucks are relatively thin on the wing; without Middleton, we can expect Giannis to pick up even more responsibility, and Milwaukee desperately needs one of Wes Matthews, Grayson Allen, and Pat Connaughton to step up in Khris’ absence.
That the injury isn’t more serious than it is will be lost on most people today, but the silver lining here deserves recognition. Khris did not suffer a significant injury that will take him out of the team’s rotation during the 2022-23 season, so the long-term impact of this event should be limited. Hopefully. In the meantime, the Bucks have a tall enough task in front of them – just getting past these pesky Bulls – and they’ll have to do it without their starting small forward.