The Portland Trail Blazers will be without one of their key bench players for at least the next month after reserve power forward/center Joel Freeland sprained his right MCL in the first quarter of Tuesday night’s loss to the Thunder at the Moda Center.
Freeland’s knee buckled while he was fighting for position with two minutes to play in the first quarter. He was helped off the floor by his teammates and did not put weight on his right leg as he exited the court. An MRI would reveal an MCL sprain to his right knee, which is expected to keep the second-year Englishman sidelined anywhere between four and eight weeks.
After struggling through a tough rookie season last year, Freeland has been one of Terry Stotts’ most reliable bench players with averages of 3.3 points, 3.9 rebounds and 13.9 minutes in 51 games this season. Fellow second-year players Thomas Robinson and Meyers Leonard are likely to pick up Freeland’s minutes until he is able to return.