HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – Grizzlies power forward Zach Randolph could miss the next eight weeks of the season with a slightly torn medial collateral ligament in his right knee, according to The Commercial Appeal.
The report confirms fears that the injury Randolph suffered Sunday in Chicago, when teammate O.J. Mayo inadvertently fell into his leg in a loss to the Bulls, was more serious than initially expected:
The injury will not require surgery and doctors will re-evaluate Randolph in two weeks.
Randolph was believed to only have a bruised MCL. He did not travel with the team for its road game tonight against the Minnesota Timberwolves. He remained in Memphis and is wearing a knee brace.
… Last season, Randolph missed four games after suffering a deep tailbone bruise in the season-opener.
This is obviously a huge blow to a Grizzlies team built around the frontcourt tandem of Randolph and center Marc Gasol, the catalysts for the Grizzlies surprise run to the Western Conference semifinals last season.
The Grizzlies are already working on a contingency plan for the meantime, having agreed in principle to the terms of a three-team deal with the Hornets and 76ers that will bring 76ers center Marreese Speights to the Grizzlies, per Marc Stein of ESPN.com. The deal, on course to be completed later Wednesday according to Stein, would also send Grizzlies swingman Xavier Henry to the Hornets and two second-round picks to Philadelphia.