Bucks’ Caron Butler out a week; Ersan Ilyasova out again
MILWAUKEE — Just as the injury list was shrinking for the Milwaukee Bucks, two key players are down and one will miss an extended period of time.
Power forward Ersan Ilyasova will miss Saturday night’s game against Boston with a sore left hamstring and a sore thumb, while small forward Caron Butler will sit out for the second straight night with a sore left knee.
Butler, who said the knee acted up on him prior to Friday night’s loss to Charlotte, is expected to be out a week, according to Bucks coach Larry Drew.
“I’m told he has some swelling in it,” Drew said of Butler’s knee.
With Ilyasova and Butler out, Drew will use his 11th different starting lineup in 16 games Saturday. Khris Middleton will continue to start at small forward, while Ekpe Udoh fills in for Ilyasova at power forward and John Henson starts at center against the Celtics, sending Zaza Pachulia to the bench.
“One of the things looking at Zaza Pachulia, watching him play, he’s still not 100 percent,” Drew said. “I’m trying to get off to a good start with healthy bodies. Just want to make sure going against this Boston club, I think that it’s important we’re able to match with as many healthy bodies as we can.”
Butler, who is averaging 13.2 points and 5.6 rebounds per game, was recently moved to the bench in an effort to provide better balance to the starting five and reserve unit. In two games off the bench, Butler scored a total of 13 points on 4-of-14 shooting.
The Racine, Wis., native went through shootaround Friday morning in Charlotte but was a late scratch for the game against the Bobcats.
Ilyasova started Friday night but left with 6:16 remaining in the second quarter with what was called left hamstring soreness, but he’s battling a variety of injuries.
“His hamstring and I know his thumb is part of it,” Drew said. “He has a couple things going on.”
Between a sprained right ankle and the left hamstring soreness, Ilyasova has played in just nine games, averaging 8.2 points and 4.1 rebounds per game.
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