Ersan Ilyasova injury: Bucks shut down forward with lingering ankle problem

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Larry Drew and the Milwaukee Bucks have shut down Ersan Ilyasova to help him recover from an ankle injury that has hampered the forward all season.

Milwaukee Bucks coach Larry Drew told Fox Sports Wisconsin's Andrew Gruman that the team has shut down Ersan Ilyasova for at least a "few games" because of the forward's lingering ankle injury. Drew added that Ilyasova has been "a shell of himself" because of the injury.

Ilyasova played in the first three games of the 2013-14 season but was held out of the next six games because of the ankle problem. He played in the next 15 of 16, sitting out one game with a hamstring injury, but in total hasn't been effective as a stretch power forward.

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Ilyasova is averaging 8.2 points and 4.6 rebounds per game while shooting 38.3 percent overall and 21.6 percent from three-point range. Compare that to his 37.6 percent three-point accuracy for his career, and it becomes more obvious Ilyasova is not right.

That became most clear on Wednesday night, when Ilyasova played 49 minutes and hit 2-of-10 shot attempts in a double-overtime Milwaukee loss to the New York Knicks.

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Milwaukee plays the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday and will also be without guard Gary Neal, who remains out with a foot injury.  Rookie small forward Giannis Antetokounmpo will start for the second game in a row, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel's Charles F. Gardner, and veteran Caron Butler could return from a knee injury if there is no swelling.

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