Rudy Gay will miss four weeks with a partially separated shoulder, the Memphis Commercial-Appeal reports. Gay left the Memphis Grizzlies' win at Philadelphia early, and a Wednesday MRI revealed the partial tear. The Grizzlies don't have another game scheduled until after All-Star Weekend, but with Gay out through the first half of March, Memphis is left reeling.
Franchise owner Michael Heisley has all but demanded a playoff berth; the Grizzlies currently sit a half-game behind the Nuggets and Jazz for the No. 8 seed in the West, and just a game and a half behind Portland for No. 6. But Gay is vital in propping up Memphis' average offense; without him, Zach Randolph will have a remarkable lack of scoring help, and the Grizzlies' perimeter offense will be at a disadvantage nearly every night.
If there's any fortune in timing, the injury comes before the NBA trade deadline (Feb. 24). Last year, in a move to push for the playoffs, Memphis traded a first-round pick for Ronnie Brewer, who promptly had what effectively became a season-ending injury. If Memphis is concerned Gay's absence could end the team's playoff bid prematurely, the franchise could become even more aggressive on the trade market.