Monday night during the third quarter of their game against the Charlotte Hornets, the Memphis Grizzlies suffered a personnel loss that matters far more than the 104-85 defeat. Starting point guard Mike Conley was injured while taking a charge, and according to Michael Wallace of Grind City Media for Grizzlies.com the diagnosis is a transverse process fracture in his vertebrae that will not require surgery.
According to Wallace, Conley is expected to miss six weeks with fractures in his lower back and he likened the injury to the one suffered by Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo in 2014. Also suffering a transverse process fracture in the past was Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, with his coming as a result of a two-car crash just outside of Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte in December 2014.
Conley’s injury is the latest personnel hit that head coach David Fizdale and the Grizzlies have been forced to deal with this season. Free agent acquisition Chandler Parsons wasn’t available at the beginning of the season due to his recovery from surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee that ended his 2015-16 season with the Dallas Mavericks in March, and after playing in six games this season he was sidelined by a bone bruise in his left knee.
Also out of the lineup are forwards Brandan Wright (left ankle surgery), James Ennis (right calf strain) and Zach Randolph (bereavement leave following the passing of his mother), with Wright yet to appear in a game this season.