3 months out for Monta Ellis
Monta Ellis , the Golden State Warriors guard , will be sidelined for at least three months after severely spraining his ankle during an offseason workout .
He received a six-year contract extension worth $66 million on July 24 but sprained his ankle and tore a ligament while working out in his hometown .
Ellis underwent surgery Wednesday in Birmingham, Ala., to repair the ligament, and returned home later in the day. Ellis’ ankle will be immobilized for six weeks, followed by at least six weeks of off-court rehabilitation before the guard can return to basketball workouts.
Ellis averaged 20.2 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.4 assists last season, all career bests, while emerging as a dependable shooter for the league’s highest-scoring club.
He will miss training camp and the Warriors’ preseason schedule, which includes a trip to China, along with at least the first month of the regular season.
Ellis, the winner of the NBA’s Most Improved Player award in 2006-07, is expected to play a major role this season for the Warriors after Baron Davis’ abrupt departure for the Los Angeles Clippers as a free agent. Golden State showed its commitment with a huge contract extension for Ellis, who is likely to assume Davis’ role as the point guard and catalyst of coach Don Nelson‘s up-tempo offense.In Ellis’ absence, new point guard Marcus Williams is likely to get the first chance to run Nelson’s show — although Mullin also will travel to Chicago on Thursday to take a look at former Clippers guard Shaun Livingston, the unrestricted free agent who hasn’t played since injuring his left knee in a game on Feb. 26, 2007.
Guard Kelenna Azubuike also is likely to get more playing time with the Warriors, who missed the playoffs last season despite winning 48 games. Golden State shuffled much of its roster in the wake of Davis’ departure, signing Maggette and forward Ronny Turiaf while losing forwards Mickael Pietrus and Matt Barnes.