NBA rumors: Khris Middleton was never going to be available for Games 6 and 7

More on Khris Middleton Injury

Jim Owczarski: Khris Middleton has been ruled out for Game 7 vs. the #Celtics. He is the only #Bucks player on the injury report.
Despite some optimism earlier in the week that Milwaukee Bucks All-Star Khris Middleton would return for Game 7, there's now pessimism that will happen. ESPN insider Brian Windhorst says that things haven't developed at Milwaukee hoped they might. "Earlier this week, the folks I was talking to were giving me some optimism about Middleton playing this weekend, but that has not happened. That has not developed," Windhorst said. "And now I would say there's pessimism about Sunday, and frankly, I have been told that even if the Bucks advance to the conference finals, there'd be pessimism he'd be ready to start."
ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski revealed as much during Thursday's episode of NBA Countdown and even said he hasn't fully been ruled out for a return in the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Boston Celtics even though it appears unlikely: "There's been some speculation about the possibility of him returning in this series. He's listed out right now for Game 6. I'm told it's unlikely he plays Game 6 even Game 7—not fully been ruled out, although that's what it says on the injury report. But I'm told he's making very good progress. If the Bucks were to win this series, close out the Celtics, I think you could very much expect to see Khris Middleton back for the Bucks in the conference finals."
Eric Nehm: The Bucks have submitted their injury report for Game 3 against the Celtics. Probable: George Hill (abdominal strain) OUT: Khris Middleton (left MCL sprain)
Jim Owczarski: #Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer on if he expects Khris Middleton to miss the entire #Celtics series: “There’s nothing new on his timeline. When we have something to update you with, we will. So, there’s nothing new.”
Shams Charania: The left MCL injury of Bucks All-Star Khris Middleton is a Grade 2 sprain and he is expected to miss the entire second-round series vs. Celtics, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. The recovery of Grade 2 MCL places a potential Conference Finals in jeopardy for him as well.
ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reports Bucks All-Star Khris Middleton could miss the entire potential second-round series as he continues to recover from a sprained MCL. Middleton suffered the injury on April 20 and although he initially was supposed to be reevaluated in 1-2 weeks, Wojnarowski says the team anticipates him missing even more time. “There’s not a sense that he’s going to get reevaluated at two weeks and then all of a sudden be back at practice and be ready to play,” Wojnarowski said Wednesday on NBA Today. “That’s a benchmark in this process. But the Bucks certainly, they’re on the cusp of getting by the Bulls here. They may have to get through another series, a conference semifinal, before they may have the opportunity to get Khris Middleton back in this season."
Eric Nehm: Bucks injury report for Game 5 tonight: Questionable: George Hill (abdominal strain) OUT: Khris Middleton (left MCL sprain)
Jamal Collier: Khris Middleton (knee) spoke at shootaround this morning. He was hopeful he would be ready to play after two weeks: "I hope so. They say two weeks, hopefully I’ll be ready or close to getting back on the court around then."
Adrian Wojnarowski: Milwaukee Bucks All-Star Khris Middleton has an MCL sprain in his left knee and will be re-evaluated in two weeks, sources tell ESPN. Bucks will have to play without Middleton for the rest of this first-round series against Chicago.
Bucks forward Khris Middleton sprained the medial collateral ligament in his left knee during the fourth quarter of Milwaukee's 114-110 loss to the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday, coach Mike Budenholzer said after the game. Middleton is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Thursday, which will determine the severity of the injury and give the team more information about a timeline for his return.
Eric Nehm: Bucks’ injury report for tonight’s back-to-back against the Clippers: OUT: Giannis Antetokounmpo (right knee soreness) Jrue Holiday (left ankle sprain) Brook Lopez (return to competition reconditioning) Khris Middleton (left wrist soreness) DeAndre’ Bembry (right knee surgery)
Eric Nehm: Bucks’ first injury report for Thursday’s game against the Wizards: OUT: DeAndre’ Bembry (right knee surgery), Khris Middleton (left wrist soreness) OUT (two-way): Sandro Mamukelashvili, Lindell Wigginton
Milwaukee Bucks star Khris Middleton suffered a hyperextended left knee late in the third quarter of Milwaukee's 117-103 loss to the Celtics at TD Garden and did not return, but initial signs are that the injury won't cause him to be out for a lengthy period of time. "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."
That said, the Bucks felt optimistic Middleton's injury wouldn't be a long-term one. He was seen walking out of Milwaukee's locker room under his own power after the game, and Budenholzer's positive outlook was echoed by teammates Jrue Holiday and Giannis Antetokounmpo. "Don't be hurt," Holiday said with a smile, when asked what his message to Middleton was postgame. "Better be back next game." "He's positive [about it]," Holiday added. "But he never really shows a sign of weakness. He's always going to be a positive person."
Milwaukee Bucks forward Khris Middleton sustained a left thigh contusion during last night’s 121-119 win at Oklahoma City. He underwent an MRI and subsequent examination today by team physician Dr. William Raasch of the Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin health network. The exam confirmed the injury as a left thigh contusion.
Middleton is expected to be sidelined for three-to-four weeks and his status will be updated as appropriate.
Matt Velazquez: Injury updates from Bud Giannis will play. Middleton will not play. Ilyasova (back soreness) joins the group of Brogdon, Mirotic, Snell, Gasol and DiVincenzo as OUT.
Matt Velazquez: Bucks didn't plan on so many guys being out. Giannis was planned due to his right ankle sprain. Things changed when Middleton felt something wrong in his left groin during pregame warmups. Once he couldn't go, Bud decided to sit Bledsoe, too, considering the back-to-back.
Matt Velazquez: Khris Middleton told me he sprained his right pinkie the first game of the season. He's been playing with tape on it since but the other day it got knocked and swelled up again. He's got his hand wrapped.
Matt Velazquez: NBA daily injury report lists Khris Middleton (right finger sprain) and Malcolm Brogdon (left hamstring soreness) as OUT for the Bucks' game tonight. I asked Bud at shootaround if there were any injuries and he said there were bumps and bruises but stopped there.
Charles F. Gardner: Khris Middleton took 3 stitches to left forehead after freak collision - knocking of heads - with Hornets' Marco Belinelli.
Charles F. Gardner: Khris Middleton on air with Jim Paschke and Marques Johnson during FSW telecast. Middleton said he will return Wed. vs. Miami.
The Milwaukee Bucks are increasingly hopeful injured swingman Khris Middleton could return to the floor in early- to mid-February, according to league sources. Sources told ESPN.com the Bucks think Middleton, who suffered a hamstring tear just days before the season began, "has a chance" to return to the lineup during a three-game homestand next month before the All-Star ‎break.
Jon Hamm: Khris Middleton "could be back before the All-Star Game" according to the Bucks/Rockets broadcast.
Middleton is confident he will return this season, and although no timetable has been established it’s clear he is making steady progress in his recovery from surgery for a torn left hamstring. The 25-year-old shooting guard was on the Bucks’ trip to Cleveland this week and has been supporting his teammates during games and in the locker room. And he has been doing light jogging and shooting under the watchful eye of Bucks trainers and coaches at the Cousins Center, although he is being careful to follow each step in the recovery process.
“I’m making good progress within the last couple weeks but I’ve still got a long way to go,” Middleton said before the Bucks played the Cavaliers on Wednesday. “A hamstring is definitely nothing to play with. There are chronic hamstring injuries where guys think it is fine and they go out there and try to run and pull it again. That’s something I definitely don’t want to go through.”
Several NBA officials, in conversations concerning Middleton’s injury, said they were unaware of any player, at least in recent years, who sustained a similar injury. All of them also strongly felt Middleton’s season is over, contrary to the Bucks’ contentions that he could return late this season. At the time of Middleton’s setback, Bucks officials said Middleton would be sidelined for “approximately six months.’’ If that is indeed the case, Middleton could be available for about 13 of the Bucks’ final regular-season games as well as the playoffs, if they advanced to postseason.
Middleton knows he has a lot of work in front of him to regain his old form and be fully healthy again. He concedes he has no clue when he’ll return to action, adding, “Nah, I don’t know. Not yet.’’ But Middleton, who was all smiles while on the court the other day with his teammates, is optimistic about playing this season – as Bucks officials have stated. “I think I’ll be back at some point this season,’’ Middleton said. “When? I just don’t know yet.’’
Milwaukee Bucks General Manager John Hammond announced that guard Khris Middleton underwent successful surgery yesterday to repair his ruptured left hamstring. The surgery was performed at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York by Dr. David Altchek. Middleton is expected to be sidelined for approximately six months. A timeline for his return to basketball activity will be established at a later date. Middleton suffered the injury during preseason workouts on Sept. 20.
Middleton, arguably the Bucks’ best all-around player last season, had torn his left hamstring. At the team’s annual Media Day on Monday, Middleton revealed how severely he tore the hamstring. “It tore completely off the bone,’’ Middleton said. Middleton is expected to have surgery Wednesday in New York. It will be performed by Dr. David Altchek, the same surgeon who performed successful knee surgery on Bucks forward Jabari Parker on Jan. 5, 2015.
Having surgery for a torn hamstring is rare. Several NBA officials said they didn’t know of any other NBA player who needed surgery for such an injury. In their estimation, Middleton is unlikely to play at all this season — and not return to action in March as the Bucks are speculating.
Charles F. Gardner: Khris Middleton said he slipped on wet spot and went down to tear left hamstring. He said he will undergo surgery on Wednesday in New York. Khris Middleton on injury: "I just happened to slip on a wet spot. I did a split. I thought I overstretched it at first... It was tough at first."
Milwaukee Bucks guard Khris Middleton suffered a left hamstring injury in preseason workouts that will require surgery, General Manager John Hammond announced today. Middleton is expected to be sidelined for approximately six months, with surgery planned in the next week.
“We’re obviously disappointed for Khris and our team, but injuries are an unfortunate part of the game,” said Hammond. “We’ll rely on our overall roster depth to help us while Khris is out for a significant period of the season.”
Shams Charania: Milwaukee forward Khris Middleton has suffered a torn hamstring and will undergo surgery, league sources told The Vertical. Story coming.
Chris Mannix: Bucks confirm @Shams Charania report: Khris Middleton will miss six months with a hamstring injury. Tough blow for Milwaukee.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Re: @Shams Charania report, Bucks making calls today to inquire about wing deal to compensate for Middleton loss, sources tell @The Vertical.
Charles F. Gardner: Middleton said left thigh injury was something that built up, not one incident. When he warmed up Sunday, said it didn't feel right. Middleton: "If I feel I can go out there and play, I definitely will, but right now I just don't feel I can play." Bucks at Boston on Fri.
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Steve Clifford officially back to Charlotte

Charlotte Hornets President of Basketball Operations & General Manager Mitch Kupchak announced today the team has named Steve Clifford head coach. Clifford, who previously served the team’s head coach from 2013-2018, returns to Charlotte, where his 196 wins ranks second in franchise history, sitting just 11 behind Allan Bristow.