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Report: Grizzlies’ Mike Conley out indefinitely with lower-back injury

AP Photo/Brandon Dill
AP Photo/Brandon Dill

The Memphis Grizzlies may have lost their starting point guard for an extended period of time.

According to The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Mike Conley suffered a transverse process fracture in the vertebrae and will miss an indefinite period of time. Grind City Media senior editor Michael Wallace noted that Conley is reportedly expected to miss six weeks with fractures in lower back — an injury that occurred during Monday’s loss to Charlotte — and will be reevaluated in a month.

Conley was inadvertently hit in the back by an opposing player’s knee. He immediately went down and grimaced in pain. He left with the Grizzlies down 13 early in the third quarter. He poured in 14 points prior to making his early exit.

“At that point you are only concerned about that guy’s health,” Marc Gasol told Memphis’s Commercial Appeal Monday night when asked about the moment Conley went down. “You just worry if he is OK or not.”

If Memphis loses Conley, they’d be short a floor general during a season in which he’s setting personal bests. The former Ohio State Buckeye is averaging a career-high 19.7 points, 5.7 assists and 1.4 steals while shooting 46.7 percent from deep and nearly 90 percent from the charity stripe.

A transverse process fracture in the vertebrae is an injury that has hit players such as Dallas Cowboys’ Tony Romo and Carolina Panthers’ Cam Newton. Romo missed a lone game with the injury in 2014.

The Grizzlies’ 11-7 record pits them fifth in the Western Conference. They’ll meet the Toronto Raptors in Canada on Tuesday evening.

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