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Pistons' Greg Monroe out with right knee strain

Terry Foster
The Detroit News

Auburn Hills — Pistons forward Greg Monroe injured his right knee during practice Monday and will miss Tuesday night's game against the Memphis Grizzlies at The Palace.

Anthony Tolliver will replace him in the starting lineup. Andre Drummond, however, returns to the starting lineup after missing the second half of the Utah game Saturday night with a concussion.

"I am really excited to be in the lineup," Drummond said. "It is going to be a good game tonight."

The absence of Monroe makes it more difficult to handle the inside game of former Michigan State standout Zach Randolph, who is averaging 16.4 points and 11.3 rebounds per game, and Marc Gasol, who is averaging 17.8 points and 7.9 rebounds.

"Tonight is a good night to have him out," Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy joked. "They don't have much inside."

Monroe injured his knee while defending a pick-and-roll play. Guard John Lucas III ran into Monroe's leg. Monroe had an MRI and was evaluated with a right knee strain. He will be reevaluated Wednesday to determine if he can play in Wednesday's game against the Sixers in Philadelphia.

However, Van Gundy does not believe the injury will keep Monroe out for an extended amount of time.

"It could have been a lot worse," he said. "Actually we are pretty happy it is not for a longer period of time."

Tolliver, who stands 6-foot-9, knows it will be a challenge to play against the bigger Gasol and Randolph. But he looks forward to the evening.

"It is always a challenge to play whether it is five minutes or 50 minutes," Tolliver said. "You are going up against some of the best players in the world. The way they play they have the two bigs. I am not really that big but I fight hard. I have played Zach many, many times. I am very familiar with his game. No matter what you do it is very hard to stop him. For me it is all about using my quickness and my length to try to just make him work."

Van Gundy said that Shawne Williams, Joel Anthony, Drummond and Tolliver will rotate inside against the Grizzlies bigs.

terry.foster@detroitnews.com

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