THE Memphis Grizzlies are coming into the NBA Playoffs wounded as the team announced on Thursday (Friday, Manila time) that top defender Tony Allen is out indefinitely with a calf injury.
A league source even told ESPN that Allen is more likely to miss the entire first round playoff series against the San Antonio Spurs.
Allen got hurt after getting inadvertently kicked on his right calf in the first quarter of their regular-season finale on Wednesday, a 100-93 loss to the Dallas Mavericks. He only played five minutes, and Grizzlies coach David Fizdale wasn’t exactly worried at the time.
“Hearing me play doctor right now, I don’t think it’s a big injury or anything like that. Obviously it scared the crap out of us when he got kicked. We’re going to assess it, see what happens and go from there,” said Fizdale after Wednesday’s game.
The 35-year-old vet began rehab immediately and will be continually evaluated, with the Grizzlies providing updates as soon as available.
“It’s an unfortunate injury for Tony and the team. With treatment and recovery, we hope to get him back as soon as possible,” said Memphis GM Chris Wallace in the team’s statement.
Averaging 9.1 points in 27 minutes per game, Allen was also Memphis’ top option to defend San Antonio star Kawhi Leonard, who made just 23-of-54 shots against the Grizzlies in three games.