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NBA Rumors: Alex Caruso, Luka Doncic, Kristaps Porzingis and Jalen Johnson Updates

Injuries keep on popping up for NBA teams. Friday night saw Chicago Bulls’ Alex Caruso and Milwaukee Bucks’ Khris Middleton leave their games with injuries.

NBA Rumors: Alex Caruso, Luka Doncic, Kristaps Porzingis and Jalen Johnson Updates

Alex Caruso Considered Day-to-Day

Caruso left Chicago’s 121-108 loss to Toronto with 7:35 left in the third quarter on Friday night after teammate Coby White accidentally stepped on his foot. He did not return.

According to Bulls Insider KC Johnson, Caruso sat out a pair of games a few weeks ago due to a sprained left ankle, which is the same foot that White stepped on.

Bulls’ coach Billy Donovan talked about Caruso’s injury after the game.

“I just decided not to put him back in the game. I don’t know if he could’ve gone back in the game. It was definitely my decision. I know he was hurting enough. He said he didn’t feel great. When he said he didn’t feel great, I didn’t ask him if he could go back in.”

“It was pretty painful. It was probably the right decision,” Caruso said. “There was probably only more negative that could’ve happened than positive throwing me back out there with the athletes and the pace of the game and the physicality of it.”

Caruso is considered questionable for the Bulls’ Sunday night affair against the Nets in Brooklyn. Zach LaVine (foot soreness) is also on the injury report, but he has been dealing with the issue since missing the season’s second contest. So, he is likely to play.

Patrick Williams or Torrey Craig will likely start if Caruso can’t go. Williams has started seven games this year, though the 22-year-old forward has struggled with the first unit. Craig has also started seven of 17 games. While Craig has played better when he is in the starting lineup, he has struggled overall.

Khris Middleton Out Sunday

Middleton will miss his fourth game of the season when the Milwaukee Bucks face the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday afternoon. Middleton the Bucks’ win over the Washington Wizards on Nov. 24, with what the team initially termed Achilles tightness.

“I think he had some tightness in his left Achilles and so just took him out for precautionary measures and then just to evaluate him tomorrow,” Bucks head coach Adrian Griffin said.

Middleton did not undergo any imaging following the game on Nov. 24. However,  it’s unclear if he has had the MRI since.

Middleton has struggled this year. The 32-year-old forward averages 11.6 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 4.2 assists while shooting .460/.320/.840.

Giannis Antetokounmpo is considered probable as he is dealing with an illness. So, it is likely that Antetokounmpo.

With Jae Crowder also out, Andre Jackson and MarJon Beauchamp are the most likely to start for the Bucks at small forward against the Blazers. Jackson has received two starts and averages just 14 minutes a contest. Beauchamp was expected to see a jump this year, but he has yet to make a start and is seeing just 16 minutes of court time a contest.

If, for some reason, Antetokounmpo is unable to play, then Bobby Portis would get the starting nod at power forward.

Jalen Johnson To Miss 4-to-6 Weeks

Atlanta Hawks forward Jalen Johnson will miss four-to-six to six weeks due to a left wrist injury, per Shams Charania of The Athletic. Charania added that tests showed no fracture and Johnson won’t need surgery.

Johnson exited Atlanta’s Saturday game against Washington with 9:33 remaining in the second quarter after taking a hard hit from Kyle Kuzma while trying to dunk in transition. As Johnson attempted to finish the dunk, Kuzma bumped him, sending him crashing into the stanchion. When Johnson landed, he fell on his left hand and immediately grabbed it.


Despite grimacing in pain, Johnson headed to the free-throw line for his two shots. Johnson missed the first attempt but converted the second one using only his right hand. Then he exited the game and headed to the locker room. The 6-9 forward is considered day-to-day.

Johnson is having a tremendous third season. The 21-year-old averages 14.1 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.4 assists while shooting .594/.425/.758.  He has produced three double-doubles and has started 12 of his 15 appearances.

With Johnson out for at least a month, Saddiq Bey will likely be asked to step into the starting lineup. Bey began the season as the Hawks’ starter at power forward and is having a solid season in his first full campaign with the Hawks. Second-year wing AJ Griffin may see increased minutes.

Luka Doncic Thumb Injury

Luka Doncic is expected to undergo further evaluations on his left thumb today. Doncic banged his left thumb on James Harden‘s knee early in Saturday’s loss to the Los Angeles Clippers and underwent X-rays at halftime, per ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk.

“I don’t think it’s broken,” Doncic said. “The X-rays didn’t indicate that it’s broken, but we’ll see further tomorrow in Dallas.”

As he stole the ball from Harden with 11:08 to go in the first quarter, Doncic said his hand hit Harden’s knee. Doncic started shaking his left hand in pain before doubling over and clutching the hand. Doncic ultimately remained in the game and logged 38 minutes.


Dallas returns to the floor on Tuesday against Houston.

Other Injuries

Portland vs. Milwaukee

Deandre Ayton (back) is listed as probable for the Trail Blazers. Ayton missed his first game on Wednesday versus Utah but has been practicing with the team since.

Boston vs. Atlanta

Jrue Holiday may miss his second straight game for the Celtics as he has an ankle injury. The Celtics are already without Kristaps Prozingis, who could not finish Friday’s loss to Orlando on Friday. The severity of Porzingis’ injury is unknown.

After being evaluated on Saturday, Porzingis took to Instagram to share a brief but encouraging update regarding the injury.

So, if Holiday cannot play, the Celtics will have two starters out. Al Horford will start at center, and Sam Hauser could get his third season start. Payton Pritchard would likely see a bump in minutes with Holiday out.




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