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Auburn Hills — The injury bug has bitten the Detroit Pistons several times this year — and it has happened again, as starting guard Reggie Bullock will be shut down for the rest of the season.

“He’s been battling a knee issue for a long time; he’s had increased swelling but he’s been pushing through,” coach Van Gundy said after Friday’s shootaround. “Now that we got eliminated, that’s the one guy we decided to (shut down). It’s because he is actually getting worse; it’s not just that it’s sore, but it’s getting worse.”

Rookie Luke Kennard will slide into the starting role and Langston Galloway will be the backup.

It’s an unfortunate end to the season for Bullock, who was having the best season of his career, averaging 11.3 points and shooting 45 percent on 3-pointers.

Van Gundy said there’s no real long-term issue with Bullock’s knee, but it was something he had been fighting through recently. It’s not clear what the exactly nature of the injury is, but there is some swelling that has been the issue.

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“It’ll be something (to look at) over the summer,” Van Gundy said. “First, they want to see how he responds to rest, but then it’ll be anything from an injection to a scope, which would be the most serious, at four to six weeks, but nothing long-term.”

Bullock joined the starting lineup in mid-December and has taken off since, as the starting small forward before the Blake Griffin trade, then moving to shooting guard after Avery Bradley went to the Clippers in the deal.

Bullock has a team option for next year and it’s unlikely the knee injury will hinder the Pistons from picking up the option for $2.5 million.

Rod.Beard@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @detnewsRodBeard

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