Just when one Bucks big man returns, another goes down.
The Bucks announced Monday that John Henson will not accompany the team on its upcoming three-game road swing due to a nagging ankle injury.
The second-year forward has sat out two of the last four games, including Saturday’s loss to the Timberwolves – Milwaukee’s third straight, and eighth in its last nine games. Henson has easily been the Bucks’ most consistent contributor, and he’s seen his role increase this season given the rash of injuries to Larry Sanders, Ersan Ilyasova and Zaza Pachulia. In the month of December, Henson averaged 15.2 points, 10.1 rebounds and 2.3 blocks in just less than 34 minutes per game.
Assuming Henson is sidelined for the estimated six weeks, he’ll miss seven contests. His absence will keep Sanders in the starting lineup alongside Ilyasova, but Larry Drew will have a decision to make once Henson returns. Playing both he and Sanders together is a risk given both players’ offensive limitations. Both Scott Skiles and Jim Boylan were hesitant to do so last season, and Drew brought Henson off the bench to begin the season before Sanders went down with a thumb injury. Given the Bucks’ situation, however, Drew really doesn’t have much to lose if pairing Sanders and Henson in the starting lineup fails. Plus, Ilyasova has struggled mightily over the past month – both off the bench and as a starter – so removing him from the starting lineup is far from out of the question.
Watch Jim Paschke’s brief interview with John Henson here.