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Ja Morant and Brandon Clarke ruled OUT Friday vs. Milwaukee

The rookies will rest Friday and return Saturday vs. Washington

Houston Rockets v Memphis Grizzlies Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

Rookies G Ja Morant and F/C Brandon Clarke will be out this Friday vs. the Milwaukee Bucks due to “injury maintenance” coming off their respective injuries, the Grizzlies announced Thursday.

Ja Morant missed four games due to a back injury before returning Monday in a win against the Golden State Warriors.

Brandon Clarke also missed four games, but due to an oblique injury and recently returned Wednesday in the victory against the Phoenix Suns.

Morant is averaging 18.7 PPG and 6.4 APG and is considered a strong favorite to take home Rookie of the Year. Clarke, selected 21st overall in the draft this June, has been a revelation, averaging 12.0 PPG and 5.9 RPG, mostly off-the-bench.

The Milwaukee Bucks are the top team in the league at 22-3 and still have the defending MVP, Giannis Antetokounmpo. This “injury maintenance” allows the rookies to play only one game in a back-to-back, Saturday against the Wizards, as they transition to an 82-game schedule.