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Bucks’ Middleton leaves game with hyperextended knee, coach hopes its not serious

Milwaukee Bucks v Boston Celtics

BOSTON, MA - DECEMBER 13: Khris Middleton #22 of the Milwaukee Bucks looks to shoot the ball while guarded by Marcus Smart #36 of the Boston Celtics during a game at TD Garden on December 13, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. 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 Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

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The Milwaukee Bucks, a team already battered by injuries this season, watched one of their stars limp off the floor in pain on Monday night and his status going forward is unknown.

All-Star and Olympian Khris Middleton injured his knee late in the third quarter on Monday night, going for a defensive rebound, bumping into teammate Rodney Hood, and landing awkwardly. He soon limped off the court not to return.

After the game, coach Mike Budenholzer sounded optimistic Middleton would not miss an extended period of time. Here’s his quote, via Tim Bontemps of ESPN:

“We’ll know more tomorrow, but I think there’s some hope that it’s not serious,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said. “But you’ve got to weigh it and give it time.”

Middleton is averaging 17.8 points, 5.7 rebounds and 4.9 assists this season. However, his shooting efficiency has gone from well above average (58.8 true shooting percentage a season ago) to closer to league average this season (53.9). The Bucks have been 5.2 points per 100 possessions better with Middleton on the court this season.

Milwaukee has been hit hard by injuries this season. Brook Lopez played opening night but not since and recently underwent back surgery that will have him out for an extended period. Starting two guard Donte DiVincenzo is set to play in his first game of the season Wednesday night, slowed by an ankle injury from last season.