Trae Young needs MRI, hopes to play Game 4 after spraining ankle on referee's foot

·3 min read

After spraining his right ankle late in Game 3, Trae Young's status for Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals is less than 100%.

The Atlanta Hawks guard was in the midst of another big scoring night when he rolled his ankle late in the third quarter of Sunday's loss to the Milwaukee Bucks. With Atlanta leading 85-82, Young threw an errant pass in a halfcourt set that Bucks forward Bobby Portis intercepted. 

Trae Young injured after stepping on ref

Young stepped back to get back on defense, but instead rolled his ankle on the foot of referee Sean Wright, who was in his sideline position out of bounds. Young fell to the ground in pain and eventually limped to the locker room for evaluation. 

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Trainers taped up his ankle and ruled the injury as a sprain. Young returned the game with 8:44 remaining in the fourth quarter, but he was far from his normal aggressive self. Young scored just three of his 35 points after his return and was uncharacteristically passive on offense for the remainder of the game. 

Afterward, he told reporters that he was sore and that the injury limited his ability to play.

'It's hurting, it's frustrating'

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"It's hurting, it's frustrating," Young said. ... "I got some treatment on it. I'm gonna go get some more in the morning. That's all I can do right now, is get treatment. 

"When I came back in, it was just kinda sore. It made me mad; I couldn't really go as fast as I wanted to. And when I did, it hurt."

Asked how the injury specifically impacted his game, Young said that he lost his "blow-by speed."

"Really just my blow-by speed," Young continued. "That's a big part of my game is my ability to blow by anybody. When you're on the left side and you're trying to blow by, you've got to use your right foot."

"My left-hand pass to [Bogdan Bogdanovic], I was going down the left side — it was in a lot of pain. It's more just the pushoff and the blow-by."

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - JUNE 27: Trae Young #11 of the Atlanta Hawks holds his ankle after an injury during the second half in game three of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Milwaukee Bucks at State Farm Arena on June 27, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
Trae Young sat on the court in pain after spraining his right ankle on Sunday. (Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)

Will Trae Young play in Game 4?

Young told reporters that "the plan" is to play in Tuesday's Game 4. But he's scheduled for an MRI on Monday and sounded far from confident in his ability to plant on his ankle.

"I'm going to get as much treatment as I can," Young continued. 

Hawks coach Nate McMillan declined to speculate on Young's status for Game 4.

"I don't know right now," McMillan said when asked about Young's status moving forward, per the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "I think, when he returned to the floor, he was obviously limping on that, and when I subbed him, we decided just keep him out."

The Bucks took a 2-1 series lead and regained home-court advantage with Sunday's win. A win on Tuesday at home will be critical for Atlanta with the series returning to Milwaukee for Game 5.

Oddsmakers listed the Bucks as -1400 favorites to win the series following their Game 3 win and Young's ankle injury.

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