Khris Middleton’s Injury Return Timeline Discussed by Bucks’ HC Mike Budenholzer

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIMay 5, 2022

MILWAUKEE, WI - APRIL 20: Khris Middleton #22 of the Milwaukee Bucks shoots the ball during the game against the Chicago Bulls during Round 1 Game 2 of the NBA 2022 Playoffs on April 20, 2022 at the Fiserv Forum Center 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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images).
Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images

Milwaukee Bucks wing Khris Middleton, who is currently out with an MCL sprain in his left knee, may return by the end of his team's ongoing Eastern Conference second-round playoff series with the Boston Celtics.

Eric Nehm of The Athletic relayed the news from Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer, who noted that Middleton will still be out for Games 3 and 4:

Eric Nehm @eric_nehm

When asked directly by <a href="https://twitter.com/stevemegargee?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@stevemegargee</a> if there was any possibility Middleton might play in Games 3 and 4, Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said, “No.”<br><br>When <a href="https://twitter.com/JamalCollier?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@JamalCollier</a> followed up about there being any possibility of him playing in the series, Budenholzer said, “We’ll see.” <a href="https://t.co/1CnFKB4Dau">https://t.co/1CnFKB4Dau</a>

The Bucks and Celtics are currently tied at one game apiece in their best-of-seven series.

Middleton has been out since April 20, when the Chicago Bulls beat the Bucks 114-110 to knot their first-round series at one game apiece. Despite playing without the three-time All-Star, Milwaukee defeated the Bulls in each of the next three games to take the series in five.

The Bucks have inserted Bobby Portis in the starting lineup with Middleton out. The former Arkansas star has done very well since Game 3 of the Bulls series, posting 14.8 points and 12.4 rebounds in 29.7 minutes per game.

Without Middleton, the onus has been on Grayson Allen and Pat Connaughton to provide more minutes off the bench at the wing.

Both have come through at various times: Allen notably dropped 49 points in Games 3 and 4 of the Bulls series, and Connaughton score 20 in Game 5.

The Bucks' depth has gotten them by, but they are obviously a much better team with Middleton on the floor. He averaged 20.1 points, 5.4 rebounds and 5.4 assists per game last year.

For now, Middleton remains out as the Bucks-Celtics series heads to Milwaukee for Game 3 on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET.