Trae Young has been ruled out of Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals due to a deep bone bruise in his right foot.
Young exhausted every avenue to try to find a way to return to play, but a severe lack of mobility and significant degree of pain made it impossible, sources told ESPN’s Malika Andrews and Adrian Wojnarowski.
An @emoryhealthcare injury report for tonight’s game vs. Milwaukee:
Bogdan Bogdanovic (right knee soreness): Available
Trae Young (right foot bone bruise): Out
Brandon Goodwin (minor respiratory condition): Out
De’Andre Hunter (right meniscus surgery): Out pic.twitter.com/kTUT5kzUvI
— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) June 29, 2021
The Atlanta Hawks’ playoff star twisted his right ankle in a freak encounter with an official’s foot late in the third quarter of Game 3 in the Eastern Conference finals against the Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday night.
Young underwent an MRI on Monday that showed a bone bruise.
Young was able to return for much of the fourth quarter, but he didn’t have the sort of explosiveness that has made him the breakout leader of Atlanta’s stunning playoff run.
Even though Young finished with 35 points, the Hawks bogged down offensively in the closing minutes, allowing the Bucks to rally for a 113-102 victory that gave Milwaukee a 2-1 lead.
It’s hard to envision the Hawks advancing to The Finals without Young leading the charge.
“Of course, he’s our best player,” teammate Danilo Gallinari said. “If we had to play without him, it’s tough.”
Young was injured after he threw a pass that was deflected by Jrue Holiday. The Hawks guard turned to run back on defense, only to step on the foot of ref Sean Wright, who was standing just out of bounds.
It was simply an accident, but that didn’t make it any less painful for Young.
“I didn’t see him,” he said. “I guess I’ve got to have eyes in the back of my head now to see who’s behind me.”
Young remained down on the court until the next whistle. He hobbled first to the bench and then to the locker room to be examined.
The Atlanta crowd roared when Young returned to the sideline early in the fourth quarter, having been cleared to go back in the game.
But he was limping noticeably and grimacing when he came up the court. Young made only one of four shots in the fourth period, ruining what had been a bounce-back performance from a tough outing in a 34-point rout by the Bucks in Game 2.
Young acknowledged that he didn’t have the speed to blow by defenders the way he normally does.
“That’s a big part of my game,” he said.
Coach Nate McMillan took Young out with just under a minute remaining and saw no reason to put him back in.
Now, the focus is on getting him ready for Game 5.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.