Bucks guard Khris Middleton is expected to miss six months after surgery to repair his ruptured left hamstring.
Middleton suffered the injury during preseason workouts on Sept. 20.
The 25-year-old Middleton averaged a career-high 18.2 points and 4.2 assists in 79 games last season. He was drafted by Detroit in the second round in 2012 and traded to Milwaukee the following year, where he has blossomed into a key player for a franchise on the rise that was hoping to return to the playoffs this season.
The Bucks say the surgery was performed Wednesday at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York.
Thunder guard hurt
Thunder guard Cameron Payne fractured a bone in his right foot during Tuesday night’s Blue-White Scrimmage.
The team made the announcement Thursday.
Payne had previously broken the bone, and he had surgery on it July. A time frame for his return wasn’t given. Payne will see his physician and additional specialists this week to determine the next course of action.
The 14th overall selection in the 2015 draft, Payne averaged 5.0 points, 1.9 assists and 1.5 rebounds in 57 games during his rookie season as a backup to Russell Westbrook.
Payne looked primed for a breakout season. He topped all scorers in the Orlando Summer League with 18.8 points per game, and also averaged 4.0 assists and 4.5 rebounds in four games.
No pressure with deal
Nicolas Batum said he isn’t planning to alter how he plays the game after signing a five-year, $120 million deal with the Charlotte Hornets.
Coach Steve Clifford said Batum doesn’t need to put additional pressure on himself to score just because he’s now the highest-paid player in Hornets history. He told him to play how he plays.
“You don’t change the nature of how you play. I think guys get messed up with that,” Clifford said. “... I don’t think you try to reinvent yourself because the money changed. We gave him the money because he played so well. In my opinion he was an All-Star-caliber player last season when healthy.”