Middleton sprains MCL as Bucks fall to Bullson April 21, 2022 at 6:39 am

MILWAUKEE — Bucks forwards Khris Middleton and Bobby Portis each exited with injuries on Wednesday against the Chicago Bulls and did not return.

Middleton slipped on a drive to the basket during the fourth quarter of Game 2 of this first-round series and began favoring his left leg. He attempted to stretch and flex his leg on the sidelines before heading to the locker room. The team announced later in the quarter that he would not return due to knee soreness.

Portis was hit in the face by an elbow from Bulls center Tristan Thompson while the two went up for a rebound during the first quarter. No foul was called on the play, but Portis fell to the ground after contact and was bleeding near his right eye after the play.

Portis attempted to warm up briefly after halftime, but only stayed on the court for a short period of time before heading back to the locker room. Shortly after the third quarter began, the Bucks ruled him out for the rest of the game with a right eye abrasion.

Portis scored two points and grabbed two rebounds in six minutes.

The injury news wasn’t much better prior to Game 2 for the defending NBA champions. Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said during his pregame media availability, that veteran guard George Hill wasn’t expected to return anytime soon from the abdominal strain that has prevented him from playing in the series.

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“We don’t expect him in the short term,” Budenholzer said.

Budenholzer said this issue is unrelated to the neck injury that caused Hill to miss 17 games earlier in the season. Hill said after returning from that injury that he’d been dealing with a partial tear between the sixth and seventh thoracic vertebra in his spine.

According to Budenholzer, the latest injury stems from something that happened in the Bucks’ April 8 game at Detroit. Hill hasn’t played since.

“We’ll see how he progresses over the next I’d say handful of days or more,” Budenholzer said.

Hill, 35, played 54 games during the regular season and averaged 6.2 points, 2.9 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 23.2 minutes.

Jevon Carter filled Hill’s spot in the rotation the Bucks’ 93-86 Game 1 victory and scored three points in 10 minutes.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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