MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Memphis Grizzlies guard Mike Conley is out indefinitely with a sore left heel and Achilles tendon, leaving Mario Chalmers to start in his place at least for now.
The Grizzlies updated Conley’s status Friday after the guard consulted with the team’s medical staff and other physicians. The team plans to have another update on his status in approximately two weeks.
Conley will receive treatment and therapy to ease the soreness. The Grizzlies have no timetable for Conley’s return, but Memphis coach David Fizdale said doctors think there’s a good chance the soreness can be healed in two weeks.
“It’s unfortunate, but watching him play in pain like that and really trying to push thru that stuff was worse to watch,” Fizdale said.
Fizdale said Chalmers, who tore his Achilles tendon in March 2016, will start for now. The Grizzlies also have Ben McLemore and Wayne Selden, both coming off their own injuries, as potential backcourt options. Fizdale said Conley had worked so hard this summer to be ready for how the coach wants the Grizzlies playing.
“For whatever reason, this thing is just not going away on its own,” Fizdale said.
The guard has started 12 of the Grizzlies’ first 14 games this season. Conley is averaging 17.1 points, 2.3 rebounds, 4.1 assists in his 11th NBA season. He has been playing an average of 31.1 minutes each game. Conley sat out Wednesday night’s 116-113 loss to Indiana and also missed a Nov. 1 game against Orlando.
After a strong start with two wins over Houston and a win over Golden State, the Grizzlies have lost three straight and five of their last seven to fall to 7-7 and fourth in the Southwest Division.
Chalmers, who has been working to improve his own shot, is averaging eight points a game shooting 36.5 percent right now. The veteran guard knows what advice he has for Conley based on his own experience with an Achilles injury.
“Take your time, make sure it’s right, make sure it’s healthy before you come back,” Chalmers said.