The Bucks will be without Larry Sanders for an estimated six weeks after the center underwent surgery to repair a ligament damage in his right thumb.
Milwaukee confirmed Monday that Sanders suffered the injury during an altercation at a Milwaukee night club on Nov. 3. This contradicts Sanders’ original claim that he injured the thumb in a game against the Raptors just hours prior to the incident.
It was announced last week that Sanders would not face any charges for his role in the altercation, which took place at “Apartment 720.” Sanders has appeared in just three games this season, averaging a disappointing 2.7 points, 3.7 rebounds and 2.0 blocks in 17.3 minutes. He expressed frustration with his limited role but will now have to wait until late-December to prove his first week struggles were a mere fluke.
The trio of Zaza Pachulia, John Henson and Ekpe Udoh – possibly even Miroslav Raduljica in the case of foul trouble or injuries – will be relied upon to anchor the interior while Sanders recovers, but none possess his ability to affect a game defensively at an elite level. Henson stands perhaps the most to gain from the situation, as he’ll be relied upon to play starter’s minutes on a nightly basis, even more so in the short-term while Ersan Ilyasova remains sidelined with an ankle injury.
The news of Sanders’ prolonged absence comes just one day after Milwaukee learned it would likely be without the services of Carlos Delfino for the entire 2013-14 season. Delfino – out since May with a fractured foot – suffered a setback in his rehabilitation but said he expects to return to the court at some point (probably next season).