Udrih leaves Bucks loss with ankle injury

By Brian Hall

Losing 95-85 on the road to the Minnesota Timberwolves, and continuing a stretch where they’ve lost four of the past five games, might not classify as the Milwaukee Bucks’ biggest lost on Friday night.

Backup point guard Beno Udrih, the spark-plug of one of the league’s best reserve units, went down during the fourth quarter with a possibly severe right ankle injury. Udrih landed awkwardly and replays showed him severely twist his right leg. He was helped off the court and immediately brought back to the locker room.

Bucks coach Scott Skiles said X-rays on the ankle were negative, but Udrih is going to be re-evaluated on Saturday and undergo a magnetic resonance imaging test.

“That was good news,” Skiles said of the results of the X-ray.

Udrih, the team’s lone backup point guard, is fourth on the team with 8.8 points per game and is third with 3.5 assists per game entering Friday. He’s led a bench unit that has outscored the opponents’ bench in 11 of its 14 games this season, including Friday when Milwaukee’s bench scored 33 points to Minnesota’s 27.

“We’re not real deep at that position,” said reserve swingman Mike Dunleavy. “We’ve got some guys that can slide over and play it, but Beno does a lot for our team coming in with the second unit, runs the group real well and we usually take advantage of the other team’s bench. Hopefully he’s not out too long, but somebody’s got to step up and fill in.”

With Udrih limited to 14 minutes, 53 seconds on Friday, starting guards Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings each played over 35 minutes and shot a combined 14 of 41. With more depth at forward, the Bucks could ill afford to lose Udrih for long. With the loss Friday, Milwaukee dropped into a tie for first place in the Central Division at 7-7 with the Chicago Bulls.

“Hey, it happens,” Skiles said. “A guy got injured, we’ve got to be able to kind of rally around that and still come out and try to win the game.”

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