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Report: Houston Rockets' Luc Mbah a Moute (shoulder) likely out for first round

From NBA Twitter and media reports

Apr 11, 2018 11:55 AM ET

 

Luc Mbah a Moute leaves Tuesday's game with a dislocated right shoulder.

Houston Rockets forward Luc Mbah a Moute has dislocated his right shoulder in a meaningless game for the Western Conference leaders. That injury will now likely keep him out of the lineup for the Rockets' playoff-opening series.

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Mbah a Moute had an MRI on the shoulder this morning. The results showed there is no clear timetable for Mbah a Moute's return and he is expected to miss the first round of the NBA playoffs (which begin on Saturday).

Here's what Wojnarowski wrote, via Twitter:

After MRI this morning, Houston's Luc Mbah A Moute is likely to miss first-round of playoffs with dislocated right shoulder, league source tells ESPN. For now, there's no clear timetable on return.

Mbah a Moute was injured during the first half against the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night as he went up for a dunk in traffic in the second quarter.

Mbah a Moute missed 15 games in December and January after dislocating his right shoulder during a fall, and it happened again on his play Tuesday at Staples Center.

After the Rockets' 105-99 victory against the Lakers, coach Mike D'Antoni told reporters he didn't think Mbah a Moute's injury was too serious. Here's more from Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle:

"He'll get an MRI and we'll go from there," D'Antoni said. "I think it's less (severe than in December), but I don't know. We'll have to wait until tomorrow when he gets it checked out, see what happens.

"It put some clouds over (the win), but the guys responded OK."

Mbah a Moute was to play a significant role for the Rockets in the postseason. A backup small forward, he was to also play at power forward in to make room for Gerald Green in the rotation, as he did on Tuesday.

"It's tough, but we have to do it by committee and hope he's not out too long," Chris Paul said. "Luc has been unbelievably important. Just his spirit, the way he plays. He defends, rebounds, runs, all that stuff."

If Mbah a Moute is indeed out for an extended period of time, the Rockets are likely to play either Joe Johnson or Ryan Anderson at power forward behind P.J. Tucker. On Tuesday against the Lakers, Johnson played the backup power forward minutes after Mbah a Moute left the game, scoring nine points on two made 3-pointers and three free throws.

The Rockets (64-16) are locked into the top seed in the West playoffs with two games to play, but coach Mike D'Antoni kept his normal starting lineup and rotation for their penultimate regular-season game.

Mbah a Moute is a key rotation player for the Rockets, averaging 7.6 points and 3.1 rebounds per game off the bench.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.


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