(CTN News) – As a result of their 105-92 victory over the Khris Middleton Chicago Bulls on Wednesday night, the Milwaukee Bucks clinched the most impressive record in the league and the No. 1 overall seed in the postseason. Khris Middleton had to leave the game early because of knee issues.
Mike Budenholzer, Bucks head coach, described the soreness as a re-occurrence of something he has worked on throughout the season. “I have that.”
Middleton will not play in the team’s final two regular season games, according to Budenholzer: “We will learn more and know more going forward,” he said.
After the opening tip, Middleton drove baseline and missed a fadeaway jumper over Patrick Williams. Upon landing, it appeared that he tweaked something, and he ran back down the court with a noticeable hiccup.
In spite of the fact that he remained in the game to finish the first quarter, he missed all three of his shot attempts and was not able to return following his first quarter appearance.
A number of injuries have plagued Middleton over the past year. In addition to missing most of the Bucks’ playoff run last season, he also missed the first 20 games of this season due to wrist surgery he underwent offseason.
He was forced to sit out for 18 games after returning from injury just a few games after returning from injury.
After returning on Jan. 23, Middleton has periodically taken games off for the purpose of “knee injury management.” He has not played both games of a back-to-back during this period, and he has missed eight games in all.
On Tuesday night, the Bucks defeated the Washington Wizards, the first of back-to-back games that also included the game against the Bulls.
Middleton and his team have maintained that nothing serious is wrong with his knee.
The Athletic reported in January that Middleton’s situation isn’t too extreme. Getting ready for the season is something I experience every summer.
After being off for so long, I just needed to get my knee used to running, jumping, the force, and the contact.
That is all there was to it. My leg was just not conditioned or strong enough to withstand it. I know it sounds vague, but it’s the truth of it. We couldn’t get it to go away. Just the swelling and all of that.
The Bucks may have removed Middleton from Wednesday’s game as a precaution, but no matter what, his continued absence from the game is not a good sign for him or the team.
Getting back to the Finals and winning a second championship in three years will require him to give 100 percent every night during the playoffs.