Playoffs

Kings guard Malik Monk out 4-6 weeks with sprained MCL ahead of playoff push

Kings guard Malik Monk out 4-6 weeks with sprained MCL ahead of playoff push

The Sacramento Kings may be without Malik Monk for the rest of the season.

Monk sustained a sprained right MCL in their loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Friday night, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. He’ll now be sidelined for four-to-six weeks recovering, which could end his season altogether if the Kings don’t make a meaningful playoff run.

Monk went down after colliding with Mavericks star Luka Dončić in the first quarter of Friday’s game at the Golden 1 Center. Monk went up to contest a Dončić layup attempt at the rim, but he was knocked down to the court awkwardly before Dončić fell on top of him.

Monk was quickly ruled out of the game. He finished with two points and a rebound in less than two minutes.

Monk has averaged a career-high 15.4 points and 5.1 assists per game off the bench this season, which has quickly vaulted him into the conversation for the league’s Sixth Man of the Year award. The 26-year-old is in the final year of a two-year, $19.4 million deal. He’ll become a free agent later this summer.

If Monk is out just for a month, and the Kings can either avoid or make it out of the play-in tournament, at best he could return midway through the first round of the playoffs. If his recovery is on the later end of the recovery window, though, he’d need the Kings to make it at least into the Western Conference semifinals to have a chance at playing again.

Monk's injury came just a day after Kings guard Kevin Huerter was ruled out for the rest of the season with a torn labrum in his left shoulder. Huerter, who went down earlier this month, is expected to be recovered by the start of next season.

The Mavericks beat the Kings 107-103 on Friday night, which marked their second straight win over the franchise in Sacramento. That dropped the Kings to 42-31 on the year with just nine games left in the regular season, which has them sitting in eighth in the Western Conference standings. Without both Monk and Huerter, the Kings' path to avoiding the play-in tournament over the next few weeks is now significantly more difficult.

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