DALLAS (AP) - Caron Butler could be out at least a couple of months because of a knee injury, a tough blow for the already ailing Dallas Mavericks.
A person with direct knowledge said the initial diagnosis is a torn patellar tendon. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team was awaiting MRI results Sunday before making any announcements.
Butler went down during a loss at Milwaukee on Saturday night. He was coming off a season-high, 30-point performance the previous game while picking up the offensive slack because of an injury to leading scorer Dirk Nowitzki.
Nowitzki has a sprained knee. He is day-to-day, and Dallas is 0-3 without him.
Butler, a small forward, is the team's third-leading scorer at 15 points per game. He plays an average of 30 minutes. A long absence could be especially costly to him because he will be a free agent after this season.
Shawn Marion would be a strong option to replace him, but he missed the Bucks game with a thigh problem.
The Mavericks were playing in Cleveland on Sunday night.