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News » Bucks careful with stars Redd, Bogut return from major injuries

Bucks careful with stars Redd, Bogut return from major injuries

Bucks careful with stars  Redd, Bogut return from major injuries By TOM ENLUND

St. Francis - The comeback process continues for guard Michael Redd and center Andrew Bogut of the Milwaukee Bucks .

Both players are returning from serious injuries that cost both much of last season, and Bucks officials are taking a slow and cautious approach in easing them back onto the practice floor.

The Bucks conducted two practices on both Tuesday and Wednesday - the first two days of their training camp - and were pleased with how much the two players have been able to participate.

Now it's a matter of continuing on with the process this month in anticipation of both being ready for the start of the regular season Oct. 30 in Philadelphia.

"We had Andrew doing one-on-one, and then two-on-two, and some five-on-five last week a little bit," said coach Scott Skiles. "But even when you're trying to build up, it's just so hard to simulate a real training camp or a real game. It's very difficult to do all the movements and all the contact and all that stuff. We want to be mindful of where (Redd and Bogut) are at and not do anything crazy with them. But at the same time, if we had a real game tonight, both guys would play in the game. So it's not that they're not ready, we just want to be smart about it.

"There's no reason to assume anyone is going to have a setback, but why do anything right now on the 30th of September that could be harmful to them? But so far both guys are moving around well, are handling the contact well. I've been pleased with it."

The first test for Redd and Bogut, as basic as it may seem, was to get through the first day of camp Tuesday and not experience any adverse effect Wednesday. Both passed with flying colors.

Redd and Bogut went through a demanding contact practice Tuesday morning that opened the team's training camp. The two players did not take part in the non-contact workout that Skiles conducted Tuesday afternoon. During that practice, Bogut and Redd both spent some time on the treadmill and did some stretching on the side.

Both took part in a non-contact workout Wednesday morning and then in a contact practice Wednesday night.

"It's definitely encouraging," said Bogut who missed 43 games last season with a lower back injury. "My back's held up pretty well. It gets tight from time to time but I don't have any pain. I just get some tightness, so then you do stretching and those things. Now that we're past that (first) test, now it's try to go three in a row, four in a row, and see how that goes."

Redd, who is coming off major knee surgery, said: "Maybe some practices I'll just lay low off of it for a little bit but I'm a go. It feels good. I'm encouraged. My movement has been pretty good. I haven't played since January, so this is new for me."

The Bucks will continue to keep an eye on Bogut and Redd and monitor their progress as the team proceeds with training camp.

"It was great," Skiles said after Wednesday morning's practice. "Michael and Andrew both moved well. Both guys want to participate as much as they can in the contact practices.

"So in the non-contact ones, it's not like we're trying to hold them out but we're trying to keep them as fresh as we can for I guess what I would call the 'main' practice of the day."

Meeks misfires: One of the great joys of being an NBA coach is being able to ride his rookies when the time is appropriate.

Skiles had such an opportunity in Wednesday morning's practice when rookie sharpshooter Jodie Meeks was missing his shots on a regular basis. Skiles shouted out to Meeks that he was consistently coming up short on his shot and that he needed to make shots.

"It just gives me a chance to give him a little grief," Skiles said with a broad smile. "The rookies in particular (experience fatigue). They're hard workers but it's hard to simulate (in informal workouts) the NBA personnel that you'll be playing against . . . guys that have played in NBA games. The size and strength and the body contact and how that can wear on you. I thought Jodie was great today other than he just came up short a few times."

Practice schedule: After running the team through a tough contact opening practice Tuesday morning, Skiles conducted consecutive non-contact workouts Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning.

Just to give the players a chance to regroup a bit after the demanding first practice?

"That's exactly it," said Skiles, who went back to another contact practice Wednesday night. According to league rules, coaches are allowed to hold only one contact practice per day. One practice is scheduled for Thursday.

Copyright 2009, Journal Sentinel Inc. All rights reserved. (Note: This notice does not apply to those news items already copyrighted and received through wire services or other media.)

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Added: October 2, 2009


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