Bucks rookie Jabari Parker tears ACL, is out for the season

Bucks rookie Jabari Parker tears ACL, is out for the season

The Milwaukee Bucks have been a pleasant surprise this season, nearly matching the team’s 2013-14 win total of 15 within the first month and a half of the season, working up an entertaining brand of ball under first-year coach Jason Kidd. The good vibes behind that turnaround were diminished a bit on Tuesday evening, when word leaked out that rookie star-in-waiting Jabari Parker would miss the rest of the season with an ACL tear to his left knee:

ESPN’s Marc Stein first reported the news.

Parker first concerned onlookers after leaving his team’s win over Phoenix after twisting the knee. Watch:

The hope, prior to the diagnosis, was that Parker merely suffered a badly sprained knee – as players can go down after badly twisting a knee and escape without any ligament or cartilage damage. Once the swelling subsided, however, the MRI produced the worst-case scenario; and because the Bucks are already 25 games into their season, it could take the bulk of 2015-16 for Parker to return to full strength.

The rookie hasn’t been the linchpin for the turnaround of the 13-12 Bucks, their relatively hot start has been a team effort, but he has shown flashes of brilliance. The 19-year old Parker managed averages of 12.3 points (second on the team) and 5.5 rebounds in only 29.5 minutes per game – nailing 49 percent of his shots. Kidd has been criticized for not playing (and, presumably, developing) Parker more minutes per game, and while that may have been a pound-foolish maneuver, it’s hard to argue with a 13-12 record in the wake of a 15-win season.

The move is a shot to the gut for Bucks fans, who have endured enervating bouts of either mediocrity or out and out terrible play over the last 25 or so years of their fandom, as Parker was the NBA draft reward for finally bottoming out. They’ll no doubt worry that Parker’s return could take as long as fellow Chicago-native Derrick Rose’s extended absence, but they should be warmed by the fact that the timing of Parker’s injury should ensure his presence in the lineup at the start of the 2015-16 season.

Still, this will be hard to get over. Just when things were starting to turn around for the long-beleaguered franchise, the crew will have to take a major step back.

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Kelly Dwyer

is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!