Zaza Pachulia has fractured foot, out at least a month
A bad Bucks season got worse Monday when it was announced Zaza Pachulia suffered a fractured foot.
By ANDREW GRUMANFS Wisconsin
ST. FRANCIS, Wis. -- The Milwaukee Bucks' already depleted roster suffered another blow Monday when it was revealed that center Zaza Pachulia has a fractured bone in his right foot and will be re-examined in four weeks.
Pachulia suffered the fracture to his calcaneus or heel bone while coming down on another player's foot as he was grabbing a rebound in Milwaukee's loss to Detroit on Dec. 4.
"It could be worse, right?" Pachulia said. "There was nothing I could do. There was no control. I landed and stepped on somebody's foot, rolled my ankle and it appeared as a fracture.
"Hopefully these four weeks are going to go nice and smooth. It's a small fracture, but because of my weight and size I need to be careful with it and make sure it's totally healed before I come back."
Unlike forward Carlos Delfino's fractured foot, Pachulia says his injury won't require surgery. The veteran center injured his right Achilles with Atlanta last season and underwent season-ending surgery in March.
Though he was able to play in 17 games this season, Pachulia admitted his Achilles had been "a little tight" recently.
"I think with this four weeks I'll be totally done with injuries and I'll be back to normal Zaza," Pachulia said. "For any athlete an injury is bad news, but with this four weeks, beside my foot I can heal my Achilles as well and come back real strong. That's the goal. That's my mindset."
Milwaukee's frontline has been ravished by injuries, as center Larry Sanders is still out with a thumb injury, Ekpe Udoh continues to battle right knee and right ankle pain and Pachulia is now on the shelf.
The Bucks will likely continue to start John Henson at center with Udoh and Ersan Ilyasova playing at power forward. Rookie Miroslav Raduljica, who has played sparingly in eight games, may see his role increased with Pachulia out.
"We just have to play guys who originally were not part of the rotation," Bucks coach Larry Drew said. "Miroslav will more than likely will be seeing minutes."
Signed as a free agent out of the Ukrainian SuperLeague in July, Raduljica is a big body who has shown well in his limited time on the floor. The Serbian center scored a career-high eight points in nine minutes off the bench in Saturday's 90-82 loss to Brooklyn.
"I've got total trust in all of my guys," Drew said. "(Raduljica) is a young guy who doesn't have playing experience. I thought he did a good job the other night. He'll certainly be cast into a situation now where he'll have to play some extended minutes."