Larry Sanders injury: Bucks center out at least 6 weeks after orbital bone surgery

Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

The Milwaukee Bucks will move forward without their center, who has had a rough go this season thanks to a ligament tear in his thumb.

Milwaukee Bucks center Larry Sanders will miss at least six weeks after surgery was required to repair fractures in his right orbital bone, the team announced on Friday.

Sanders suffered the injury on Saturday when he was elbowed in the right eye by Houston Rockets guard James Harden, but the Bucks big man was initially ruled out indefinitely and only through the All-Star break.

It's another run of disappointment for Sanders, who missed 25 games at the beginning of the season because of a torn ligament in his thumb that occurred during a fight at a Milwaukee night club. On the court, Sanders complained of his role under first-year coach Larry Drew early on in the season, and he and Bucks guard Gary Neal had a shouting match in front of media members after a loss to the Phoenix Suns at the beginning of January.

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Sanders had come on strongly before his orbital bone injury, recording double-figure rebounding games in the two games prior and scoring 25 points last Wednesday against the Denver Nuggets. He is averaging 7.7 points, 7.2 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game.

Milwaukee hits the All-Star break with a league-worst 9-43 record and will turn to center Zaza Pachulia and backup big man Miroslav Raduljica to fill in for Sanders.

The Bucks signed Sanders to a four-year, $44 million contract this summer.

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