Milwaukee big man Larry Sanders was beginning to regain form of late, averaging 14.3 points, 11.3 rebounds and 1.3 blocks while shooting 63.3 percent from the field in three February games before getting injured on Saturday.
Benny Sieu/Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
MILWAUKEE — Larry Sanders’ turbulent season has hit another bump in the road, as the Bucks center will be out indefinitely with a fractured orbital bone in his right eye.
The Bucks did not give a timetable for a potential return, saying Sanders will see a specialist Tuesday. Sanders suffered the injury when he took an inadvertent elbow from Rockets guard James Harden early in Saturday’s loss to Houston.
Bucks coach Larry Drew said Sanders is still experiencing blurred vision and will be out at least through the All-Star break.
"That’s really unfortunate because the kid has been playing well," Drew said. "He was starting to play with a rhythm and played two of his better games this year. It’s just real unfortunate that he sustained the injury."
Sanders was beginning to regain form of late, averaging 14.3 points, 11.3 rebounds and 1.3 blocks while shooting 63.3 percent from the field in three February games before having to leave just four minutes in on Saturday.
Given a four-year, $44 million contract extension this summer, Sanders’ season got off to a rough start when he had surgery on a torn ligament in his right thumb suffered in an off-court incident at a Milwaukee nightclub in early November.
Sanders missed six weeks before returning Dec. 27 in Brooklyn. Playing with a protective wrap on his right thumb and hand, Sanders struggled to find his groove. But there had been a distinct change in his energy and he recently was starting to look like the player Milwaukee needs him to be.
"He was starting to get that energy back, that fire and passion," Drew said. "It’s just really unfortunate."
With Sanders out, Zaza Pachulia started at center for the Bucks against Boston. Milwaukee has yet to have its full complement of big men, as Sanders, Pachulia, John Henson, Ersan Ilyasova, Miroslav Raduljica and Ekpe Udoh haven’t been together for a single game.
Ilyasova remained out against the Celtics, but Drew said he could play Wednesday against New Orleans. Milwaukee did get Udoh back Monday after missing eight games with a sprained left ankle and Luke Ridnour returned after missing one game with back spasms.