Khris Middleton Ruled Out of Bucks vs. Celtics After Suffering Knee Injury

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVDecember 14, 2021

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - OCTOBER 19: Khris Middleton #22 of the Milwaukee Bucks shoots a free throw against the Brooklyn Nets during the season opener at the Fiserv Forum on October 19, 2021 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Milwaukee Bucks guard Khris Middleton exited Monday's contest against the Boston Celtics because of a hyperextended left knee.

After the game, Milwaukee coach Mike Budenholzer told reporters there were positive indications and that the initial belief is that it won't be a serious injury.

"We’ll know more tomorrow, but I think there’s some hope that it’s not serious," Budenholzer said, per ESPN's Tim Bontemps. "But you’ve got to weigh it and give it time."

Middleton had four points (2-of-8 shooting) and eight rebounds in 24 minutes prior to exiting.

Middleton put together another strong regular season in 2020-21. He averaged 20.4 points, 6.0 rebounds and 5.4 assists and shot 41.4 percent from three-point range.

Still, questions remained as to whether the Bucks could win a title while counting on the two-time All-Star to be the No. 2 scoring option behind Giannis Antetokounmpo. Milwaukee made a big bet when it signed him to a five-year, $177.5 million extension.

Middleton delivered when it mattered, as he put up 23.6 points per game during the Bucks' championship run. He also had seven double-doubles to help get the team to the NBA Finals.

The Bucks did little in the offseason because a roster reshuffle was unnecessary after last summer's triumph. They have the pieces to once again be a top contender to win the Eastern Conference.

Milwaukee is strong enough to weather Middleton's absence for a few games in the regular season. An injury to the 30-year-old will only pose a problem if his availability is jeopardized ahead of the playoffs.