MILWAUKEE — Trying to snap out of a funk in which they’ve lost five of their last six games, the Milwaukee Bucks will be shorthanded for the near future.
Backup point guard Beno Udrih and small forward Mike Dunleavy were ruled out for Saturday night’s game against the Celtics. Udrih will miss one to two weeks with a sprained right ankle suffered during Friday’s loss to Minnesota. Dunleavy was also injured Friday, clipped in the back of the knee, and is day-to-day.
“He went out a little bit ago and tried to go, but he can’t go,” Bucks coach Scott Skiles said of Dunleavy before Saturday’s game. “I don’t know if it will be one game or multiple games, but I can tell you that he is very sore.”
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Udrih’s injury comes at a position where the Bucks lack depth. The veteran has filled his role well, averaging 8.3 points and 3.3 assists per game in 18 minutes per game off the bench. Without another true point guard on the roster, rookie Doron Lamb will get a chance to play more minutes.
X-rays were negative Friday on Udrih’s ankle, and further tests Saturday revealed that it was nothing more than a sprain.
“A lot of just depends on the guys who play for the guy that’s out and what they do,” Skiles said. “Guys can step in and get some minutes that haven’t been getting a lot of minutes and play very well. We certainly would like Beno to be healthy because he’s played very well for us.”
Aside from the injuries, Skiles has decided to make more changes to his starting lineup. Small forward Marquis Daniels and center Ekpe Udoh will start against the Celtics, with Tobias Harris and Samuel Dalembert heading to the bench. Following his triple-double Friday in Minnesota, Larry Sanders was Skiles’ first choice to start in place of Dalembert, but Sanders declined, preferring to stay in his role off the bench.
“I understand his point,” Skiles said. “He prefers to stay in the role he is in and that’s fine.”
Forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute was active Saturday for the first time this season after offseason knee surgery, but Skiles isn’t sure how many minutes he will be able to play right away.
With Udrih and Dunleavy both inactive, veteran power forward Drew Gooden is active for just the fourth time this season. Gooden has yet to appear in a game.