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An MRI showed that Tyrese Haliburton reportedly has “no ligament damage to his left knee” and won’t require surgery, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. However, the Sacramento Kings rookie guard “likely will miss the rest of the season.”
Haliburton suffered the injury in the third quarter of Sacramento’s 111-99 win over the Dallas Mavericks and had to be helped off the floor. It looked as though he might have suffered serious damage to his knee after it buckled without him taking contact and he fell to the floor.
The 21-year-old has been excellent in his rookie season, averaging 13 points, 5.3 assists, three rebounds and 1.3 steals per game while shooting 47.2 percent from the field and 40.9 percent from three.
While he likely won’t win the Rookie of the Year award—that seems likely to go to either Minnesota’s Anthony Edwards or Charlotte’s LaMelo Ball—the Kings have to be very happy with the No. 12 overall pick.
In De’Aaron Fox and Haliburton, the Kings have their backcourt of the future. It’s the team around that pair that offers more questions, with the 28-37 Kings currently in 12th place in the Western Conference, 3.5 games behind the San Antonio Spurs for the final spot in the play-in tournament.
Without Haliburton, the team’s odds of ending its 15-year playoff drought grow slimmer. Fox has been out of action for 11 days due to the NBA’s health and safety protocols, though he could return this week.
“There’s no update other than he’s still in the health and safety protocol and he’s clearly not with us on this trip,” head coach Luke Walton told reporters regarding Fox on Tuesday. “We have tonight’s game and tomorrow night’s game (against the Indiana Pacers) then we’ll get back home and see where he’s at.”
As for Haliburton, well, expect him to be motivated to improve in his second year, especially after his first year likely ended in injury
“I feel like I use everything as a chip on my shoulder,” he told The Ringer’s Logan Murdock earlier this year. “I take everything in my life as motivation. I want to prove other people wrong, but I want to prove myself right.”