Connaughton to miss Bucks’ season opener due to calf strain

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Kathy Willens

Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) shoots as Milwaukee Bucks guard Pat Connaughton (24) defends during the fourth quarter of Game 5 of a second-round NBA basketball playoff series Tuesday, June 15, 2021, in New York.

MILWAUKEE, Wis. — The Milwaukee Bucks will be without one of their veteran stars when they kick off the season on Thursday.

Guard Pat Connaughton is set to miss the first three weeks of the new campaign due to a right calf strain, team officials announced Sunday. Connaughton missed the last two preseason games due to calf soreness, and an MRI on Friday revealed the extent of his injury.

The Notre Dame alum has spent the last four seasons with Milwaukee, after playing three years with the Portland Trailblazers. He has been a constant presence off the bench for the Bucks, appearing in 262 regular season games and starting 29. He signed a three-year extension with the Bucks earlier this year.

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Connaughton is likely to be unavailable until early November. Should he only sit out for three weeks, he would miss about nine games, returning in time for the November 7 game against the Atlanta Hawks.

The Bucks open the season on Thursday in Philadelphia. Their first game at Fiserv is set for October 22 against the Rockets.