Bucks' Khris Middleton delivers significant injury update ahead of rematch with Suns

Milwaukee Bucks v Phoenix Suns
Milwaukee Bucks v Phoenix Suns / Kelsey Grant/GettyImages

After landing on Kevin Durant's foot coming down from a jump shot, Khris Middleton has been out of the Milwaukee Bucks' lineup since a loss to the Phoenix Suns on February 6.

Coach Doc Rivers had been saying for several games now that Middleton was "close" to making his return to the court but would not put a timetable on it. Well, Saturday afternoon, Middleton himself told reporters that he plans to return to action against the Suns, the same team he got hurt against, on Sunday afternoon for a nationally-televised contest.

Bucks' Khris Middleton delivers significant injury update ahead of rematch with Suns

It's not too controversial to say that getting Middleton back in the mix will be a sizeable boost for the Milwaukee Bucks. Though he's had a rough go of it with injuries this season, which has limited his role, he's still the clear-cut third option on this team, and his scoring and playmaking can take significant pressure offensively off of the team's other top stars in Giannis Antetokounmpo and Damian Lillard.

With 15 regular season games left, Middleton has only played four games under Doc Rivers, who took over mid-season. He will not have the most time to build chemistry with his new head coach, but it will be nice to get him back out there. The forward's health has been one of the team's biggest unknowns this season, and they will need him back in the lineup to achieve their lofty championship goals.

A ripple effect from Middleton's return will be the rotation changing, as Rivers has called upon some players who might not typically play as much lately. Danilo Gallinari will likely see his minutes lessen, but what about AJ Green? The young guard has played inspiring basketball on both ends as of late, and his time may also decrease upon Middleton's reintegration. It's worth keeping a close eye on.

At first, Middleton won't likely take on a hefty minute toll, as he hasn't played a game in over a month. In addition to the injury itself, Middleton's conditioning in a game situation is also something to keep in mind. He will likely play around 15 or so in this opener and the next few games following that one.

The most efficient mid-range shooter in the NBA (among players with at least 100 shot attempts, per NBA.com/stats) will be back in the lineup for Milwaukee, which is a rather welcoming addition.

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