ST. FRANCIS, Wis. — The Milwaukee Bucks are banged up, as four players missed practice Tuesday with injuries.
The latest addition to the injury list is power forward Ersan Ilyasova, who suffered a right lower leg contusion in Sunday’s victory against Brooklyn. Also injured Sunday, forward-center Ekpe Udoh was held out as well with a left wrist sprain.
Small forward Mike Dunleavy, who continues to recover from a left knee bruise that occurred in Minnesota on Nov. 30, did not practice either. Additionally, point guard Beno Udrih remains out with a sprained right ankle and won’t play against Sacramento on Wednesday.
Bucks coach Scott Skiles said he wasn’t sure of the group’s availability against the Kings, but the team officially lists Ilyasova as probable, with Udoh and Dunleavy questionable.
As far as who starts if Udoh can’t go, Skiles won’t speculate until he knows more Wednesday.
“I’ve got options,” Skiles said. “I’m not going to make that decision until I know whether he can go or not.”
Dunleavy has played in just one game since the injury occurred and has been out since Dec. 3.
The Kings could be shorthanded as well, as point guard Tyreke Evans has missed Sacramento’s last three games and five of its last six with a bruised right knee. Evans was listed as probable to play in Monday’s loss to Dallas but was inactive.
The Sacramento Bee reports that Evans is going to try to make it through a full practice in Milwaukee on Tuesday before determining his availability for the game.
There’s also a chance the Kings could be without leading scorer DeMarcus Cousins. The talented but troubled forward was involved in yet another incident Monday night. While fighting for rebounding position, Cousins struck Mavericks guard O.J. Mayo in the groin.
Though Cousins claims it was unintentional, Mayo said Cousins had “mental issues” after the game and should be suspended. Cousins was suspended for two games earlier this season for confronting San Antonio Spurs color analyst Sean Elliot after a game in which Elliot criticized Cousins on the broadcast.
Wednesday starts a two-game stretch for the Bucks against teams with below-.500 records. The Kings are just 7-13, and Milwaukee plays at 4-17 Cleveland on Friday. Though both seem like wins on paper, the Bucks have already dropped games to Charlotte and New Orleans and needed a buzzer beater to beat the Cavaliers.
Though the Kings are just 1-7 on the road, Milwaukee hasn’t played well enough at home to mark down an easy victory.
“We are one game above .500, nothing is assured to us,” Skiles said. “We have to have the proper approach and come out ready to play. We still would like to play better at home. We haven’t played well at home.” Giving back: Yesterday was the 36th anniversary of the MAAC Fund’s founding during halftime of the Bucks game while Jon McGlocklin’s number was being retired by the team.
The anniversary makes Tuesday’s trip by the Bucks to the MAAC Fund Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders and Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin even more meaningful. The entire team and coaching staff visited patients, spreading holiday cheer and distributing more than 400 new books donated by Sam’s Hope.