Bucks' Eric Bledsoe sidelined with fractured cartilage between two of his ribs

The Milwaukee Bucks will have to begin the 2019-20 NBA season without their starting point guard, as GM Jon Horst announced on Friday that Eric Bledsoe will miss time after suffering fractured cartilage in his ninth and 10th rib.

Horst went on to note that Bledsoe did not fracture his ribs, as had been initially reported by Shams Charania of The Athletic, and that there isn't any risk of reinjury or further damage being done. At this time, Bledsoe's injury is being looked at as more of a case of pain tolerance which means that, rather than the two-to-three week timeline which was first reported, he could conceivably return to the floor once the pain he is feeling comes down to more of a minimal level. 

Bledsoe suffered the injury during the second quarter of Wednesday night's preseason contest against the Utah Jazz. Bledsoe left the game upon suffering the injury, didn't return, and was initially diagnosed with a strained oblique. Prior to leaving the contest, Bledsoe had converted on two of his three attempts from the field for five points to go along with two assists in 12 minutes of action. 

"It feels like it's not that severe," Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said of Bledsoe's injury on Wednesday night. "But I'm sure Troy [Flanagan, the team's director of performance] and those guys will give me an update. … Just talking to Bled [it seemed positive] – I don't know if you can trust Bled – Troy will be the truth-teller."  

Bledsoe, 29, is coming off a solid season in which he averaged 15.9 points, 5.5 assists and 4.6 rebounds per game. He also made the All-Defensive first team, alongside his Bucks teammate Giannis Antetokounmpo, for his consistent contributions on that end of the floor. 

With Bledsoe potentially sidelined for the next few weeks, veteran guard George Hill will likely slide into the starting point guard spot for the Bucks. While Hill is more than capable of running a team, Milwaukee's depth will take a hit to start the season due to Bledsoe's injury. 

The Bucks will open the regular season against the Rockets in Houston on Thursday, Oct. 24.  

Michael Kaskey-Blomain covers the NBA for CBS Sports. He has covered the league in some capacity since 2009 for a variety of outlets including Philly.com, ESPN 97.3, and 247 Sports. Michael hails from... Full Bio

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