A look at Marvin Bagley III walking gingerly in locker room after injury
The Kings let out a collective sigh of relief Thursday after an MRI confirmed rookie forward Marvin Bagley III suffered only a sprained left knee in a 141-140 overtime loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday night at Golden 1 Center. Bagley will be reevaluated in 7 to 14 days, the team said.
Bagley’s father posted a video on Instagram showing Bagley getting out of a car as he arrived at team headquarters Thursday morning to undergo an MRI at a nearby medical facility. Bagley was walking gingerly but was not wearing a knee brace.
“What’s good man?” Bagley said. “I’m about to go get this MRI. I’m feeling pretty good this morning. We gonna see. We gonna see what happens. I’m feeling pretty good. I’m walking, so hopefully nothing too serious. I’m going to go get it checked out.”
Bagley, the No. 2 pick in last summer’s NBA Draft, was guarding Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo late in the third quarter when he ran into a physical screen set by Milwaukee guard Malcolm Brogdon. Bagley’s right knee collided with Brogdon’s knee, causing him to fall awkwardly on his left leg.
Bagley immediately clutched his left knee and remained on the floor, writhing in pain as play continued until the Kings could call a timeout with 19.3 seconds left in the third quarter.
Bagley was eventually helped to his feet and led to the locker room with assistance from teammates Kosta Koufos and Harry Giles III. The team announced Bagley would not return to the game and was scheduled to undergo an MRI on Thursday to confirm the preliminary diagnosis of a sprained knee.
Bagley suffered a bone bruise in the same knee in December, an injury that caused him to miss 11 games. Kings coach Dave Joerger admitted to fearing the worst when Bagley went down Wednesday night.
“You’re talking about a guy who got injured earlier in the year and had to go through some stuff, and the worry is, anything with the knee, you get nervous,” Joerger said following Thursday’s practice, shortly before the team received results of the MRI. “Is it six months? Is it a tear? I don’t want to speculate on it, but you love and you support, not just him but his family, and hopefully the results are positive when they come in.”
Bagley has continued to develop rapidly since returning from the previous knee injury in early January, emerging as one of the team’s most productive players. He recorded six double-doubles in 10 games leading up to Wednesday’s contest, averaging 18.4 points, 9.7 rebounds and 1.2 blocks.
The Kings are seeking their first playoff appearance since 2006. They are two games behind the Los Angeles Clippers and San Antonio Spurs, who are tied for the seventh spot in the Western Conference.
Sacramento has lost four of its last five games, but three losses came against the Denver Nuggets, Golden State Warriors and Bucks — three of the top teams in the league — by a total of five points. That stretch also included a 119-116 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder, which is third in the Western Conference.
The Kings are in a stretch that could ultimately decide their fate. They will face the Clippers at home Friday night before entering a much more favorable portion of their schedule. Nine of their next 14 opponents currently have sub-.500 records.
Point guard De’Aaron Fox believes the Kings are capable of staying in the playoff race until Bagley returns.
“Of course, it’s going to be difficult, but when one person goes down, it’s always next man up,” Fox said. “I think everybody that’s in our rotation is ready to play.”