Milwaukee Bucks guard Pat Connaughton will undergo surgery to repair a fractured fourth metacarpal in his right hand on Monday and is expected to return to the lineup before the end of the regular season, sources told ESPN on Sunday.
Connaughton suffered the injury on Thursday in a loss to the Phoenix Suns, and losing him will be a significant blow to a Bucks team that has increasingly relied on his productivity this season.
The Bucks traded guard Donte DiVincenzo to the Sacramento Kings at the deadline on Thursday as part of a four-team deal that landed them Serge Ibaka, and they have been lacking guard depth for several weeks. Milwaukee plans to be aggressive in pursuit of Goran Dragic once he completes a contract buyout with the San Antonio Spurs next week, sources said. The defending NBA champions can offer Dragic a significant opportunity.
Connaughton is averaging career highs in scoring (10.2 points), 3-point shooting (41 percent) and minutes (27.2) this season.
"He plays a huge and key role for us coming in the starting lineup every now and then," Bucks forward Khris Middleton said on Thursday. "Just being that glue guy for us on both sides of the ball. It's going to be tough without him for a while so hopefully he can get back sooner than later."