Ersan Ilyasova will not play again this season. He will miss the Bucks’ final 11 games.
According to the team, Ilyasova was seen by foot and ankle specialist Dr. Richard Ferkel Tuesday. Dr. Ferkel recommended a period of rest and rehabilitation beginning immediately, rather than surgery.
An injury to his right ankle will end a season in which he played 55 games and averaged 11.2 points and 6.2 rebounds. He shot 40.9% from the field and 29.2% on three-pointers, a shot played to his strengths until this season.
Ilyasova dealt with an injured ankle all season long, injuring it in the first preseason game on Oct. 8. After that, he missed the rest of the preseason and only played short stints of three games at the start of the regular season before sitting out another extended period until Nov. 20 in order to recover.
Free-agent-to-be Jeff Adrien has taken over Ilyasova’s role as the starting power forward in his absence, though there is an obvious case to be made for increased minutes for John Henson. Henson has played 36 and 19 minutes, respectively, in the past two games that Ilyasova has missed.
One question remains: If the Bucks have been officially out of the playoff race since March 15, and were unofficially eliminated long before that, why did the Bucks and Ilyasova feel the need to hobble on in vain? What was the point of risking further injury when the Bucks were already out of it? In any case, it does seem like the Bucks have stumbled onto the correct course of action.
In February, Turkey qualified for a wild card berth in the FIBA World Championship, and at that time, Ilyasova said that he was planning on representing his home country.
“I was kind of looking forward to this summer and taking off,” Ilyasova said. “It’s a good thing, but it’s going to be a busy summer again.
“It’s going to start in August and there will be a little gap between the championship and training camp in the NBA, so it’s better.”