Donte DiVincenzo’s tough start for Milwaukee Bucks just got more difficult

ORLANDO, FLORIDA - DECEMBER 30 (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
ORLANDO, FLORIDA - DECEMBER 30 (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Donte DiVincenzo has certainly been put through the wringer over the past several months with the Milwaukee Bucks.

The guard’s career year in 2020-21 came to a screeching halt after he suffered an ankle injury in the first round of the playoffs that required surgery. Following a lengthy rehabilitation process, he was scheduled to make his highly-anticipated 2021-22 season debut for the Bucks on December 15, but that never came to fruition as he was forced to enter the NBA health and safety protocols shortly before his return date. Since clearing the protocols, the guard has appeared in three games for the Bucks, understandably struggling due to rust. Yet, after his best performance of the season in a recent win over the Magic, it looks like DiVincenzo’s return just got more complicated.

As DiVincenzo was warming up for Saturday’s matinee against the visiting New Orleans Pelicans, he rolled his ankle going up for a shot. He did not play in the matchup after that, with head coach Mike Budenholzer confirming after the game that it was because of a sprain. It was indeed the same ankle that he just had surgery on a few months ago, which is certainly not ideal, given that DiVincenzo had just returned. Although it is not clear the severity of the sprain, the Bucks will not rush him back into the lineup by any means. In addition to his recent surgery and time in the health and safety protocols, this ankle sprain is just the latest hindrance to DiVincenzo.

Donte DiVincenzo’s turbulent season with the Milwaukee Bucks continues

As if DiVincenzo did not already have enough on his plate, this sprain to the same ankle he just had surgery on could snap any semblance of a groove that he had been working toward. He was coming off his best game of the season in a 136-118 win over the Orlando Magic, a game where the guard nearly tallied a double-double with 11 points and nine rebounds in 19 minutes prior to the sprain. That performance provided optimism that DiVincenzo might be finding momentum, but missing the game versus the Pelicans with another injury might hinder that. Hopefully, this sprain is nothing too serious and he will not have to miss considerable time.

DiVincenzo is a player that could help this Milwaukee team tremendously, which has been on full display throughout his first three games back in the lineup. Offensively, the 23-year-old has had a tough time finding a rhythm as he has averaged 7.3 points on a brutal 4-of-17 field goal shooting. All four of those made baskets have come from behind the arc as DiVincenzo’s struggles finishing close to the hoop from previous years have carried over into this season. Still, his 3-point shooting has been a welcoming boost, and he must find a way to sustain it. Defensively, having DiVincenzo come off the bench will be a luxury as the guard is another robust defender for this Bucks team to use on a nightly basis. All of that goes without mentioning his rebounding, where he is averaging 5.7 per game in this small sample size, an area he excels at on both sides of the ball.

When healthy, DiVincenzo could potentially be a difference-maker for the Bucks, given what he brings on both ends. Due to this, fans anxiously awaited his return this season, and now the fans are left waiting for any update on DiVincenzo’s ankle sprain. Hopefully the 23-year-old guard can bounce back quickly and regain his footing amidst what has been a difficult calendar year for him to this point.

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Well wishes, Donte.