Los Angeles Clippers backup center Mason Plumlee sustained a left MCL sprain on Monday against the New York Knicks, per multiple reports. He could be out for as long as two months with the knee injury, The Athletic's Shams Charania reported Thursday.
The 33-year-old is expected to return before the end of the season, Charania added. The news comes two days after ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski said Plumlee was undergoing further evaluation in California.
An MCL sprain is a better diagnosis than many expected, considering how severe his injury looked. Plumlee hit the hardwood after Knicks forward Julius Randle dove into the side of Plumlee's left leg near halfcourt. The accidental collision took place in the third quarter of the 111-97 loss.
It was a close matchup until Plumlee left the game with four minutes remaining in the third. Then, momentum seemed to shift. Unable to put weight on his leg, Plumlee had to be carried off the court and into the visitors' locker room. The Knicks went on two pivotal runs at the end of the third quarter and in the beginning of the fourth.
Mason Plumlee could not put any weight on his left leg and was carried back to the Clippers locker room. pic.twitter.com/l2JmLos6W7
— Tomer Azarly (@TomerAzarly) November 7, 2023
Plumlee has played a vital role off the bench for the Clippers through six games this season, averaging five points and 5.5 rebounds in 17 minutes. He was +10 in the box score before he went down on Monday.
In Plumlee's absence, P.J. Tucker is expected to see more minutes in the bench rotation. Tucker was acquired in the trade that brought James Harden to Los Angeles. Shooting guard Terance Mann, who has been out this season with a sprained left ankle, should also make a return soon.
But the Clippers are reportedly looking to add another center to the roster as Plumlee recovers. The team has shown interest in acquiring veteran center Daniel Theis from the Indiana Pacers, according to Charania.
Theis has yet to play this season. He appeared in seven games for the Pacers last year after the team acquired him from the Boston Celtics in the Malcolm Brogdon trade. Of the 257 games Theis played for Boston, he started in 112.