A Bay Area newspaper, citing team sources, reported Saturday that the Golden State Warriors have questions about the explanation guard Monta Ellis gave them about how he hurt his ankle and started investigating.
The team has refused to comment beyond saying that Warriors athletic trainer Tom Abdenour has not been dispatched to check on Ellis.
Ellis, who was recently awarded a huge pay raise by the Warriors, will be sidelined at least three months after suffering a severe high ankle sprain in his hometown of Jackson, Miss. He underwent surgery Wednesday in Birmingham, Ala., to repair a torn deltoid ligament in his left ankle.
But team officials, according to one of the sources quoted by the Contra Costa Times, were skeptical about Ellis' explanation because of the severity of the injury, according to the report. The newspaper reported that the team sent athletic trainer Tom Abdenour to Jackson, Miss., to examine Ellis.
The team told the San Francisco Chronicle in Sunday's editions that Abdenour was not sent to Mississippi to further investigate the injury. Instead, they say Abdenour is in South Africa preparing for the Basketball Without Borders camp, which begins on Wednesday.
During a conference call last Wednesday, team executive vice president of basketball operations Chris Mullin said he didn't know the details of what led to Ellis' injury, only that "I was told he was working out in Jackson."
Ellis' ankle will be immobilized for six weeks, followed by at least six weeks of off-court rehab before the 6-foot-3 guard can return to basketball workouts, ruling Ellis out for all of training camp and the preseason and at least the first month of the regular season. Chances are that he won't play until December.
Ellis averaged 20.2 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.9 assists last season, after winning NBA Most Improved Player honors after the 2006-07 season when he averaged 16.5 points, 3.2 rebounds and 4.1 assists.
Ellis signed a six-year, $66 million contract extension late last month, making him the team's highest-paid player.
Information from ESPN.com senior writer Marc Stein was used in this report.