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Bucks' Larry Sanders misses game with thumb injury after nightclub incident

(Joe Murphy/Getty Images)Larry Sanders is averaging 2.7 points and 3.7 rebounds this season. (Joe Murphy/Getty Images)

Bucks center Larry Sanders missed a Wednesday night game against the Cavaliers with a thumb injury after he was reportedly involved in an incident at a Milwaukee club on Saturday night.

"We are aware of an incident from Saturday evening," the Bucks said in a statement. "The matter is under investigation and Larry Sanders is cooperating fully. At this time we will have no further comment."

Sanders has not yet been charged or arrested in relation to the incident, which allegedly occurred at a club called "Apartment 720," which is located less than a mile from the Bradley Center.

Update: The Journal-Sentinel reported Thursday that Sanders will not be charged in the incident, according to the District Attorney's office.

Milwaukee's 620WTMJ.com reports that sources allege that Sanders was the instigator in the incident.

Police say they're looking into a huge fight from last Saturday night at Apartment 720 on Milwaukee Street, downtown.

The I-Team's police sources say Sanders started that fight while in the VIP room. A fight where Sanders allegedly threw punches and broke champagne bottles over the heads of people while security tried to break up the fight.

Milwaukee's Fox6Now.com reports that a 26-year-old man was injured in the incident.

Police say the incident occurred around 2:20 a.m. on Sunday, November 3rd, when officers were sent to meet the victim of a battery at the hospital. The victim is a 26-year-old man from Sussex, who told officials he was cut when he was struck with a bottle during a fight that happened around 1:15 a.m. at Apartment 720.

The fourth-year center did miss the Bucks' practice on Tuesday because of a "swollen right thumb." Coach Larry Drew told reporters before Wednesday's game that he didn't know any additional specifics about Sanders' condition or availability.

"I'm not sure exactly what happened but right now it's under investigation," Drew said, according to the Associated Press. "He will not play tonight due to a sore thumb. I have not seen him yet (tonight). I don't know much more. You probably know more than I do. I do know that it is being investigated and that's the word I've got."

Sanders, 24, is averaging just 2.7 points and 3.7 rebounds in 17.3 minutes through three games. He discussed his limited playing time with NBA.com over the weekend.

“I feel like I’m capable of being in the game at the end and helping my team win, coming up with blocks and rebounds,” Sanders told NBA.com before exiting the locker room swiftly. “I haven’t been able to get my rhythm out there. I understand foul trouble situations, but tonight I wasn’t in foul trouble.

“Last year I finished so many games. I feel like that’s when I lock in the most. But I haven’t been able to get in the game to finish. That carries over to the next game. When you sit the last three quarters of each game, I can’t have no carryover. And it’s hard for me. I’m still a young player. It’s only my eighth year playing basketball.”

After agreeing to a four-year, $48 million extension in August, Sanders acknowledged he was being entrusted with a leadership role on a rebuilt Bucks team, and he said that he looked forward to "represent[ing] Milwaukee" for the duration of his new deal.

“Can’t believe I’ve been granted this opportunity to represent Milwaukee for the next five years and hopefully the rest of my career,” Sanders wrote on Instagram after signing his new deal. “Words can not explain my gratitude for the Bucks organization and the faith in me as a leader and a worker. I won’t let you down Mil-town.”

In October, Sanders' former agent sued his current representation for alleged client poaching prior to Sanders' rookie contract extension agreement.

The 2010 first-round pick out of Virginia Commonwealth started 55 games for Milwaukee last season, averaging 9.8 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2.8 blocks while establishing a reputation as one of the NBA’s most fearless and physically gifted interior defenders. Sanders finished second in the league in blocks per game and placed seventh in the 2013 Defensive Player of the Year voting.

Sanders was also among the league leaders in technical fouls last season and he’s been ejected on numerous occasions during his career, including a memorable incident in March when he flashed the “thumbs up” sign to all three referees on his way off of the court. Sanders was also fined $50,000 for publicly criticizing the officiating after a loss to the Heat.
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