Bucks' Khris Middleton to Undergo MRI on Knee After Suffering MCL Injury vs. Bulls

Doric SamApril 21, 2022

Milwaukee Bucks forward Khris Middleton looks at the scoreboard during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Houston Rockets, Friday, Dec. 10, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)
AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith

Milwaukee Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer announced forward Khris Middleton will undergo an MRI on Thursday to determine the severity of an MCL injury he suffered in his left knee during Wednesday's Game 2 loss to the Chicago Bulls in their opening-round playoff series.

Middleton exited the game in the middle of the fourth quarter and didn't return.

"We have a job to do here," teammate Giannis Antetokounmpo said. "Obviously Khris is one of the best players on the team. If he's not able to be with us, it's going to be a tremendous loss for us."

Middleton missed time in March with a wrist injury. He also sat out earlier this season while in the league's health and safety protocols.

A 10-year veteran, Middleton was selected to the All-Star Game this season for the third time in his career and is one of the Bucks' most important players. Through 66 regular-season games, he averaged 20.1 points, 5.4 rebounds and 5.4 assists.

Middleton has spent the last nine seasons in Milwaukee. Alongside two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, he helped lead the Bucks to their first NBA championship since 1971 last year. Middleton has also averaged 20-plus points while shooting over 40 percent from three-point range in each of the past two seasons.

Middleton won a gold medal with Team USA at the Tokyo Olympics last summer.

If Middleton is sidelined, more pressure will be on Antetokounmpo to carry Milwaukee's offense. Bucks point guard Jrue Holiday, who averaged 18.3 points and 6.8 assists in the regular season, will also have to increase his production.

Wings Grayson Allen and Wesley Matthews are likely to see more playing time as Middleton's minutes are divvied up between them. 

Swingman Pat Connaughton also returned to the lineup in late March after recovering from surgery to repair a fractured bone in his hand, so he could help mitigate the loss of Middleton as well.