Tyrese Haliburton’s MRI Comes Back Clear, But is Expected to Miss the Rest of the Season

Tyrese Haliburton With Sacramento Kings Background

  • Tyrese Haliburton’s MRI showed no damage to his knee but he is expected to sit out the remainder of the season.
  • Haliburton hyperextended his knee during Sacramento’s game against the Dallas Mavericks last Sunday.
  • The 21-year old was one of the betting favorites to win this year’s Rookie of the Year award.

More bad news for the Sacramento Kings and their disappointing 2020-21 season.

Sacramento was off to a solid 12-11 start after winning seven out of eight games from January 23 to February 8. But after suffering a pair of nine-game losing streaks after that, Sacramento is now nine games below the .500 mark and outside the Top 10 in the East.

The emergence of Tyrese Haliburton as one of this year’s top rookies has been one of the few bright spots for Sacramento which currently owns the NBA’s current longest playoff drought. However, the Kings lost Haliburton to injury last Sunday when they played the Dallas Mavericks.

Knee Injury

The 21-year old Haliburton looked like he hyper-extended his left leg while making a behind-the-back move as he was dribbling the ball up the court. Haliburton’s right foot got clipped with Jason Richardson’s heel, causing the Kings prized rookie to land awkwardly on his next step.

Haliburton lost the ball due to the injury and he hobbled a couple of times before falling flat on his face in front of the scorer’s table. He was later helped to his feet and limped towards the locker room in obvious pain. Sacramento went on to beat the Dallas Mavericks 111-99 but Haliburton did not return to the game and was scheduled for evaluation and tests.

Luckily for the Kings, Haliburton avoided serious damage. An MRI on Monday revealed no ligament damage to his left knee. Team officials say that Haliburton’s injury will not need surgery and it is expected to make a full recovery. However, with Sacramento only having seven regular season games left and still a far 3.5 games off 10th place, the team also announced that Haliburton’s season is done.

Rookie of the Year Favorite

Haliburton has been one of the best rookies in the NBA this season. Drafted 12th overall in the 2020 NBA Draft, Haliburton got his big break when the Kings lost De’Aaron Fox to injury. Ever since he has been given the opportunity to show his wares, Haliburton has impressed with his steady backcourt play and his ability to impact the game on both ends of the floor.

In 57 games played this season, Haliburton is averaging 13 points, 3 rebounds, 5.3 assists, and 1.3 steals per game while shooting 47.2% from the field and 40.2% from three-point distance. Although the best NBA betting sites say that he is a longshot third in the latest Rookie of the Year oddboards at +750 behind runaway LaMelo Ball who is at -300, and Anthony Edwards who is currently pegged at +175, Haliburton is a lock to make the All-Rookie First Team.

Although the Kings will not make the playoffs or the play-in tournament this season, Sacramento has found a diamond in the rough with Haliburton. Together with Fox, Marvin Bagley III, Buddy Hield, and the improving Richaun Holmes, the Kings have a solid core to build their future around.

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Shane Acedera / Author

Shane grew up watching the Magic & Bird rivalry but ended up rooting for Detroit's Bad Boys team in the 1990s NBA. He loves to tell sports stories and has been writing about sports since high school. When Shane isn't busy jotting down his thoughts, he's just chillin' at home with his wife Rocelle and their two dogs named Horry and Fisher. He recently added a new family member, adopting a handsome retired K-9 named Ranger.

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